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Questions tagged [open-source-definition]

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27 votes
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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
  • 519
26 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the TeX typesetting system free and open source?

I recently opened the source code for the widely-used TeX typesetting system, and was surprised by the restrictive license I found: This program is copyright (C) 1982 by D. E. Knuth; all rights are ...
James Fennell's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
7k views

How to avoid being AWSed?

Elastic built the tool, AWS redistributed it and is dominating the market. Elastic is probably going to struggle and slowly die because they are bad at business. However, they built a great tool and ...
Magus's user avatar
  • 323
22 votes
1 answer
7k views

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: https://www.mongodb.com/press/...
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
658 views

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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20 votes
2 answers
3k views

If an employee modifies a copy of a GPLv3-licensed open source library, is the modified copy intellectual property of the company?

There is a GPLv3-licensed open source library on GitHub which is used by the company I work for in a central component of the business. The business does not sell software, but only a manipulation of ...
user1234's user avatar
  • 201
19 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is the CC BY-ND an Open license?

CC BY-ND (Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives) is a fairly restrictive license. It does not allow derivative works. The Wikipedia article on Creative Commons licenses says that it is not a ...
TRiG's user avatar
  • 299
18 votes
1 answer
8k views

How do I release code written for a company to the public?

I'm working on a Unity project for a company and, while doing so, I wrote some code that I think would be cool to have it on the internet, free to use. But I never released something that is owned by ...
Mikele's user avatar
  • 183
16 votes
6 answers
1k views

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
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

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
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14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can I remove payment requirement part of a MIT licensed library

A library I have used has recently introduced a payment requirement, i.e buy a license code and enter it to be able to use the library. The library is however still MIT licensed. Would it be legal to ...
John's user avatar
  • 243
13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Which licenses give me a guarantee that a software I'm installing is completely open-source, free of closed-source dependencies or components?

I have a question about free vs open source software that's more about practical implications from the user's perspective. I'll explain the mindset first before the actual question, so you can ...
geekley's user avatar
  • 253
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a way to only permit open-source mods for my video game to stop people from stealing code or at least enforce proper attribution?

I want to prevent mod developers from stealing code from other mod developers in my game. The best way that I know how is to only ever support mods that are open-source. I know about the SteamWorkshop ...
PHO BOSS's user avatar
  • 151
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is a software open source if its source code is published by its copyright owner but cannot be used without a commercial license? [duplicate]

Suppose I wrote a commercial program, and I publish its complete source code on my website. I retain all rights to the source code. No one gets any distribution or usage rights. They only have the ...
Flux's user avatar
  • 733
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does "open source" always mean "open access"?

I will frame my question with a concrete example: HELYX is a software based on another software OpenFOAM. OpenFOAM is an open-source freely-accessible software distributed with GPLv3 licence. HELYX ...
Herpes Free Engineer's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
381 views

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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12 votes
3 answers
207 views

Can any Firefox add-on be free software now that add-on signing is required?

Since the release of Firefox 48 on 2016-08-02, Mozilla Firefox will not run any add-on that has not been signed and verified by Mozilla. This means, for example, that a user cannot modify an add-on ...
IronGopher's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
561 views

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
  • 8,949
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

A company sells a closed source software product - one that they actively also obfuscate - and market it as "open and flexible". Similarly there is no public issue tracking and when major exploits are ...
Luke Briggs's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Understanding 4th point (restriction to distribute modified source-code) of Open Source definition

The 4th point of Open Source Definition - Integrity of The Author's Source Code: The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the ...
Pandya's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

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
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

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
  • 225
7 votes
1 answer
437 views

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
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is nopCommerce really open source?

I was very curious about the way this project was published, under an NPL license. From what I understand, this license is similar to the GPL v3.0, except that it adds an additional restriction: "...
MrDave1999's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can we use a previous release of an open source project when it had Apache 2.0 license for commercial purpose?

If an open source project which had Apache 2.0 license, has now changed its license to non-commercial use license, can we use a previous release(when it was free for commercial use) of the project for ...
p4ulinux's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a free open source version of Android SDK available for use?

When I download Android SDK from https://developers.android.com, I am prompted to agree with Google's EULA. What should I use in order to avoid agreeing on these terms? I'm under impression that ...
andreoss's user avatar
  • 519
6 votes
1 answer
368 views

Do non-discrimination clauses only count for my licensees, or also for me as a copyright holder?

The open source definition has a non-discrimination clause. From the annotated Open Source Definition: 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups The license must not discriminate against any ...
Martijn's user avatar
  • 9,354
5 votes
2 answers
141 views

Could I run my own websites about projects I do not own?

I've found a few open-source software projects and I'd like to run my own websites regarding them, but not claiming to own them; just make a place where information and such can be found. I believe I ...
Girl Pervert's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
163 views

Proper licensing of commercial SW including open-source by the same author

I have written from scratch some SW that I want to publish as open-source in Github while being the only contributor. I want to publish it under AGPL license. At the same time I want to use the ...
BorisV's user avatar
  • 355
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What kind of license is Redis' RSAL (Redis Source Available License)?

The name would suggest it's not FOSS, but source available, which is a pretty low bar. But when I read about it, they seem to suggest that it's really only source available for specific use cases ...
notacorn's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

How to fill the "name of copyright owner" in the license, if there are multiple authors?

There is an open source project, licensed under Apache License 2.0. It is abandoned, so I would like to fork it, do some significant modifications, and publish it again as an open source project, ...
Iter Ator's user avatar
  • 173
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

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
4 votes
1 answer
323 views

Contradiction: Free "software" does not mean "noncommercial"

Citing the Philosophy of the GNU project: Free "software" does not mean "noncommercial". A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution. ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
532 views

Is it wrong to call a software Open Source if it is using a license based on GNU GPL?

As an example, the real time operating system FreeRTOS is licensed under the FreeRTOS Open Source License which is based on a modified GNU GPL, the modification taking the form of an exception. The ...
olliebulle's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
631 views

License for my Framework

I'm looking for a good license-model. I am developing a framework. These key points should be considered: Can: modify distribute commercial and private use sell it in modified/extended state ...
schnawel007's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
875 views

About of Apache 2.0 License

Hello everyone I'm going to use for my app ios the Google library "Tink" for cryptography End To End ... This library is released under an Apache 2.0 license, I wanted to know: Can I easily use an **...
CTL's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
80 views

Google voided Corporate Contributor License Agreements

So when I tried to signed the CLA for my company, it failed and Google told me that "Please have an authorized executive sign this document. ..." To me it's not quite clear their definition of ...
Yang Wei's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
0 answers
69 views

What's the best way to get started on open source projects [duplicate]

It's something I want to get started on and be able to contribute but I don't even know how or where to start. Many employers and recruiters ask if I have any experience with them, I just don't know ...
apm's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Release a BSD-licensed but closed-source program?

The BSD/MIT license only mentions things about redistribution. But I don't see any restrictions on the initial release of a BSD-licensed program. Is it possible that I write a program, but only ...
vetiame's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
113 views

Can I contribute device driver to opensource when datasheet is under NDA/confidential?

Let's consider a scenario where when working on embedded software, I had to obtain datasheet related to some chip from X manufacturer. This datasheet is not publicly available, but can be obtained ...
Myszsoda's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
69 views

Is there a simple set of rules about open source contributions?

I am starting new open source project, where contributors may not know how the processes work. I would love to reference some short easy to understand set of rules so that people feel comfortable to ...
polina-c's user avatar
  • 181
3 votes
3 answers
241 views

Releasing the source code of a premium feature for another open program

If I use a compiled program/non compiled source code which is under a license that everyone has the rights do use and sell (Eg: GPL) and no one can deny any person to use or sell it and then I want to ...
GuestQuestionAsker's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Using iText library with AGPL license to make application open sourced

I am working on a project to generate a 508 compliant annual PDF Publication from our database using iText 7 java library. This library works great for accessible PDFs. We are in the process of ...
comwiz756's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

Some questions about LGPL v.3 (support, warranty…)

I participate in the development of a soft that will be distributed on a commercial basis. Question: 1. If I take the open-source Library (under LGPL v.3), will there be any obligations to support ...
KSP's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
1 answer
101 views

Recreating assets from closed source projects

Recently I'm working on a game, where I have created some asset from closed source project. To be honest I actually re-created assets similar identical to hill climb. Now if I use those or I use ...
Maifee Ul Asad's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
567 views

Naming a software after a person or a brand

I have been wondering about the copyright issues faced by software named after people or brands. As a Python developer, I wonder if there was any issue in Guido Van Rossum naming Python after the ...
Shiv Kumar's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Richard Stallman recommend not to use passwords? [closed]

In a short interview, Richard Stallman recommends not to put passwords on your wireless network. In the OS Revolution documentary he also mentions how he's disliked passwords ever since his job at MIT ...
GillesDV's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
87 views

What notice should Bob give when he takes a web app under Apache2, changes UI and the database, then hosts it?

Question asked here, but without much attention; posting here. Please write a bit of detail steps on how to follow Apache2 requirements for a new beginner, (whose native language is not English,) ...
Maxfield's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
1 answer
211 views

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
3 votes
1 answer
273 views

How to distribute third-party open source components?

When using an open source component (say, licensed under CDDL), we are required to distribute the source code for any components directly derived from the component. Is it acceptable to just provide a ...
Vineet's user avatar
  • 133