Questions tagged [open-source-definition]

Use this tag for questions about the definition of open source

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26 votes
2 answers

So the GPL doesn't restrict the creator of the software in any way?

In another thread I started (Red Hat buys Ansible), I am trying to figure out the economic value of a company transaction with respect to GPL'ed software. A few of the answers suggest that the owners ...
vic's user avatar
  • 509
22 votes
1 answer

SSPL and the Open Source Definition

MongoDB has decided to change the licensing of MongoDB Community Server, seemingly to prevent businesses from monetizing on their product without giving anything back:
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers

Can a software license meet one of the FSF's and OSI's definitions without meeting the other?

I know that Free Software (this means the concept of free as in freedom, not software that does not cost anything) and Open Source have two distinct definitions. In practice though, they turn out to ...
Mnementh's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software? I was recently asked this and realized I was unsure the exact answer. I understand that free software is not a type of open source software, but I ...
Trevor Clarke's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer

Why is the Non-Profit Open Software License (NPOSL) OSI-approved?

Recently I came across the Non-Profit Open Software License; tl;dr Legal says this about it: A variant of the Open Software License 3.0, this license requires that the organization using it is a ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,859
12 votes
2 answers

Does a license needs to be approved by the OSI to be an open source license?

The Open Source Initiative has created the Open Source Definition to define what open source is. Also it has set up a formal process to approve licenses to be open source. Now, does a license need ...
Mnementh's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers

How can I determine if some code I want to release as opensource is already licensed or proprietary?

Is there a way to analyze my code I want to release as opensource to see if it is / or has parts that are already licensed or proprietary?
Eduard Florinescu's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

Are discriminatory free licenses still free?

With free licenses, one cannot restrict who or how the software is used. Suppose that I construct a license that says: If you are not Steve you are permitted to license under A; if you are Steve ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,859
2 votes
1 answer

Does an FPGA design in Verilog / VHDL count as software or hardware in terms of copyright law?

If you have a programmable hardware device that incorporates hardware components (LEDs, switches, ADCs, DACs, batteries etc.) but is designed using Verilog or VHDL for the central FPGA design does the ...
Cromulent's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer

Why is the Reciprocal Public License OSI-approved but not FSF-approved?

The Reciprocal Public License (RPL) is interesting in that it is the only license both OSI-approved and not FSF-approved. It is a copyleft license similar to GPL but with a "reciprocal" clause: ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,859
9 votes
2 answers

Telemetry in open source software?

Is it OK to embed some telemetry functions in an open source project or is it considered spying or privacy violating? I would like to connect my open source app to Microsoft Application Insights to ...
romanoza's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

Can open source exist without copyright?

I was asked a question in my law class: is it possible for open source software to exist without copyright protection? In the absence of copyright, could software still exist that satisfied the open ...
devon king's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

Distributing GPL binary which has no source and unresponsive author

I was found in a situation where some author published a binary which was widely used. Unfortunately he never shared the source despite marking the program as GPL (version not specified). Despite ...
kiler129's user avatar
  • 130
2 votes
1 answer

MySQL for Commercial Web Application

We have created a web application hosted on virtual machine for client access through web only, no distribution . The database we have used is MySQL Community Edition under GPL 2. The application is ...
Neil Parmar's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Can FOSS software make API calls to proprietary systems?

I'm not sure if the distinction between free and open source software makes a difference for this question, so I'll use the term FOSS. Can a FOSS platform make API calls to proprietary systems, such ...
Wynne's user avatar
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