Questions tagged [proprietary-code]

For questions about works whose authors retain the ability to control derivates or distribution as given to them by copyright law

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44
votes
4answers
19k views

Is it legal to use GPL code in a proprietary, closed-source program by putting it in a separate, standalone program?

As we all know, the GNU General Public License (GPL) is a "copyleft" source license: which means it is designed not merely to make the code to which it is initially applied free and preserve its ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Are all docker images free (i.e. GPL)?

Looking at the GPLv2 FAQ. I'd like to incorporate GPL-covered software in my proprietary system. Can I do this?. Since, any typical Linux distribution base image contains a variety of GPL-licensed ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

As owner of GPL library, can I break the licensing terms?

As far as I understand, choosing GPL licence for library does not permits use of it in proprietary programs as opposed to LGPL. So releasing my library (or code classes), I'm forcing people to use ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens if stolen software is published as Open Source?

This is not a real world issue, at least for me. It is more about a thought experiment from a talk that I once had with a friend: Let's say that Acme develops closed source software for their own ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

GPL Application <-> LGPL Plugin <-> Properietary code

I would like to explicitly consider possibility of having either of Fig.1: (1-A) A GPL application with dlopen-based plugin system. (1-B) LGPL plugin for application (1-A), that is linked to (1-C) (...
33
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it possible to close an open source project?

If yes, what are the consequences of Open Source projects being discontinued, if it's done by a large organization? As per this post, the older version of project can still be used under the same old ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the correct term for software whose source code is available only to read?

The software is distributed under these terms: Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software&...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I use a proprietary library in my GPL'd program?

The case of proprietary programs linking to GPL'd libraries has been discussed thoroughly. However the inverse case - a GPL'd program is linking to a proprietary library - is rarely mentioned. ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How can LGPL and proprietary licenses be combined?

I have a project, a big portion of which can be released as LGPL, but there are still some portions that must keep a more restrictive license. I'm not sure what exactly is allowed. The intent is ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I develop closed source software with an open source development environment? [closed]

Are there any legal consequences that I could encounter with? If it's possible, what should I keep a close attention to while I'm doing it?
3
votes
2answers
160 views

How do you sell a hardware product that uses the linux kernel?

I would like to create a Linux based OS for a VR headset that I'm developing. From what I understand, the Linux kernel uses the GPL-2 license which allows for commercial use but it also requires you ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Proprietary desktop application that works with AGPL-licensed server application

I'm programming a desktop application that's proprietary. On my server, it will run application with the AGPL (Affero General Public License). Server app will process the data that will come through ...
24
votes
2answers
5k views

Why doesn't this GPL loophole work?

Suppose Alice makes some proprietary software. The source is available, but under a proprietary license which prohibits derivative works and sublicensing. Bob writes some GPLv3 code. Carol prepares ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between MongoDB SSPL and GNU AGPL

I'm trying to understand the difference between the SSPL and the GNU AGPL license, after reading the terms of SSPL. The 13th clause of the license states the following: If you make the ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

May I use AGPL license in a desktop application without providing the source code?

We develop a commercial desktop application that uses an AGPL library. The lib's code is just used, not modified. Our application runs completely offline. May we use the AGPL library without having ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

GPL Application linked to a LGPL library loading proprietary-plugins

This is a bit similar to what asked in this question, unless that here the case is that the application only directly loads LGPL code, and this one then may dlopen a proprietary lib, so: GPL Program ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How to accept contributions for AGPL / proprietary dual-licensed projects?

Supposed I have written a software that I offer using a dual-license model, using AGPLv3 as OSS license, and a proprietary one as commercial (closed) license. Now, let's assume somebody wants to ...
8
votes
3answers
262 views

What does the Open Source Initiative say about proprietary software?

I found that FSF considers proprietary software to be unethical (bold emphasis mine): Proprietary Software Is Often Malware Proprietary software, also called nonfree software, means software ...
7
votes
1answer
371 views

GPL v2 and proprietary extensions

I am trying to understand when do the GPLv2 spreads from a program to its extensions and vice versa. Everything I've read seems to say that if you use a module (shared library or any other "tightly ...
5
votes
2answers
970 views

Can I sell closed source software which uses some CC BY-NC-SA code?

Can I sell software which uses someone else's code which is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported? The software is closed source, and aside from the borrowed code, is ...
4
votes
2answers
773 views

Can license-incompatible program communicate with GPLv2 program via websocket?

I'm writing a program for automation under a license that is incompatible with GPLv2 (it's dual-licensed: GPLv3/Proprietary). Let's call it my automation program. And there is third party GPLv2 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

MIT license ambiguity about copyright?

I asked this question in softwareengineering.stackexchange.com but it was pointed out to me that it is better suited to be posted here. I deleted the original thread in the other subforum. So the ...
3
votes
2answers
514 views

What permissions does LGPL-3.0 grant if the licensed work links against a proprietary library?

According to the FSF "The Lesser GPL permits use of the library in proprietary program". Is this permission granted in cases where an LGPL-3.0 licensed work links against a proprietary library? Both ...
10
votes
2answers
408 views

Is it legal to remove a dependency with a copyleft license from a proprietary project?

Imagine you have a proprietary project (non open source), and by mistake you added a dependency to a library with a strong copyleft license. You have already distributed your code. And you realize ...
5
votes
2answers
438 views

Re-implementation of a proprietary API

There is a proprietary library whose API I want to re-implement, which is provided to the users with specification, and its use is limited by its license to internal evaluation (to develop programs ...
5
votes
2answers
216 views

Licence for open-source code which is part of proprietary code?

I've a proprietary program which is using OOP classes which I want to publish as FOSS (only the classes). Which FOSS compatible license I can choose for the classes which will work with my ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

How to enforce CC-BY in data generated by a program, if I open-source that program as well?

I'm running a data journalism operation, and as part of our business, we generate a lot of datasets. We're fine with these datasets being used by just about everyone, as long as they give us credit. ...
3
votes
3answers
352 views

Licensing software that uses a proprietary library under GPL-3.0 without linking exceptions: what are the implications?

NOTE: Changed the person in example from "I/me" to "PersonXYZ" Given, hypothetically: PersonXYZ wrote some software (will refer to as SoftwareXYZ) that uses a proprietary library (will refer to as ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Understanding GPL & LGPL: Free Software with zero-cost, proprietary libraries

Background: This question is derived from a previous question. I am writing a Blender add-on which enables the use of Blender with a piece of hardware (i.e., a lightfield display). Blender and the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I build proprietary software on top of open source software? [closed]

Lets say that I want to use Linux kernel, but I want to create some proprietary code on top of it (like create a Linux distribution) and later on sell it combined with the Linux kernel (like Mac did ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

GPL, LGPL or MPL for open source app with closed source Pro flavour

I have had a fairly popular Android business app on Google Play a while now. It is available as a free version and a version with features targeted to bigger businesses. I am currently in the process ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

how did Elastix move from GPL to proprietary?

I'm just scratching the surface for VoIP with Elastix. I notice that Elastix 2.x is "open source" but 5.x is proprietary? Looking into licensing from the manual on Elastix brings: http://www.3cx....
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Understanding GPL: Blender Add-on + System Library

Basic Information I am writing a Blender add-on which enables the use of Blender with a piece of hardware (i.e., a lightfield display). Blender and the use of the specific Python API, which is ...