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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37
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
23
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 ...
21
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
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&...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

When distributing a Linux kernel driver as source code, what's the difference between Proprietary and GPL license?

The company I work for is selling PCIe cards. I'm writing the Linux driver for it as a Linux kernel module. When selling these PCIe cards, we give along the Linux kernel driver as source code. ...
13
votes
4answers
583 views

Can Apple require users to accept the Xcode/iOS license to use git?

After launching an upgrade of XCode on a MacOS Sierra, calling git in a terminal suprisingly results in: $ git Agreeing to the Xcode/iOS license requires admin privileges, please re-run as root via ...
12
votes
1answer
596 views

What are the main steps to convert a currently closed source project into an open source one?

Given the case of a closed source project that has been developed for some time: What are the main things that should be done in order to ease its transition to a open source development? What I've ...
12
votes
2answers
830 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Can I sell a proprietary software with an LGPL library bundled along with it, without making my source code public?

I am making a commercial application for my own company. I want to use PySide2 in it which comes under the LGPL license. I will be using PySide2 without any modification to it for designing the GUI. ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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?
9
votes
2answers
120 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
223 views

On what grounds can companies bring open source projects into closed source?

There are applications that are widely used out there (just think of PHP, MySQL, etc...). What would happen if the organisations behind them pull this software back into closed source? On what ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to use a library under the EUPL license for a commercial closed-source project?

I want to use this library in my project. Author says it is under the LGPL license, but one of its dependencies is under the EUPL license. EUPL license isn't clear about if a closed-source ...
8
votes
3answers
249 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
187 views

Can I serve open cola in proprietary glasses?

I've just acquired the Hypothetical Cafe (come and visit, we serve great hypothetical food and drinks), and some fancy posh glasses*. They're so posh that an international designer did a special ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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?
7
votes
2answers
958 views

Proprietary software made of free software parts

Is it possible to use free software libraries or parts of a free software system in proprietary software without violating the licenses? In other words, can I build a system that uses some parts of a ...
7
votes
1answer
11k views

Use of BSD-3 Clause license and python software license for proprietary use

I am making a software in python programming language which uses libraries licensed under BSD-3 clause. Is it necessary for me to show my source code to users? Also can I restrict the distribution of ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

Do Licenses for Test Libraries Apply to Production Code?

(I am re-asking this question here, as I was informed that it was off-topic on Stack Overflow) My interest in this question stems from concern over the lack of a license in a testing framework I came ...
7
votes
1answer
972 views

Optional GPL dependency in commercial Python application

I am developing a commerical clock application ("JJClock"), which is written in Python. What I will deliver to my customers will either be a .pyc file or a .so file ("compiled") with Cython -- the ...
6
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

What to do if a software component to be published under open source license is linked with other components that are not open source?

In my case we developed several software components that work together to build the final system. Now I want to release my developments under the GPLv3 license. When checking the dependencies I ...
6
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

Can I create a GPL licensed server and use it in a commercial product?

I have an commercial embedded device which uses linux as OS and I would like to add remote support to my commercial application on the device. I would like to use a dynamically linked library with ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Is it legal for a corporation to “lock in” & restrict usage and redistribution of Open Source software that it has released to it's own services?

In source code for a project released by Amazon.com Inc., awslabs/amazon-redshift-utils, an "Open Source"-like license is found with questionable stipulations, particularly section 3.3: 3.3 Use ...
5
votes
2answers
780 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

How do products like MongoDB not violate the GPL licenses?

I'm quite confused with MongoDB's licensing model. MongoDB at its core is an open-source project, licensed under the SSPL which is a small modification of the AGPLv3 license. Then how does it release ...
5
votes
2answers
452 views

Dual license or relicense when the new license is more permissive?

An organization is considering changing the license of an OSS repo on GitHub. For the purposes of this question, assume that organization has the legal rights to change the license. It is currently ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Is it legal to install GNU GPL v2 software alongside my proprietary software

I have developed a set of python-based tools for network testing, and I am currently building a GUI around it and I am going to attempt to sell it. My issue is one part of my code relies on wireshark, ...
5
votes
1answer
655 views

License for R scripts

As long as I understood a piece of code is data for the interpreter and thus according to this Q&A an R script is not automatically licensed under GPL. Is that correct? So if I make an R script ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Can I release an Excel Workbook with VBA code under the GPL v3?

This is my first foray into the open source world. I've got a Microsoft Excel workbook that I have some custom VBA modules in that I want to distribute under the GPL v3. I can't find much discussion ...
5
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
383 views

Including the MIT copyright notice when the software is part of a larger proprietary software

From reading the license here I understand how I can use the software but the only condition it imposes has confused me. The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in ...
4
votes
6answers
919 views

How can a software company cope with more and more customers asking for open source software

My company has invested a lot in R&D over the past 3 years. It led to the development of a system we can use as a base to build custom software for our customers. More and more customers want ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How can the Linux kernel's main.c file say that one of its copyrights is “all rights reserved” when it's GPL?

Just noticed this in the linux's kernel code main.c: * Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 Linus Torvalds * Copyright 2007 rPath, Inc. - All Rights Reserved * Copyright 2009 Intel Corporation; author H....
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Is using MIT-licensed code in non-open source code considered stealing?

What if we use MIT-licensed code in our propietary software? Is it considered stealing? I saw some software that was packaged with MIT licensed code in the installation directory. Some people think ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can GoJS be included into an open source project?

Context: GoJS is not open source, its license stating in particular that modification is forbidden (though the fact that its source code is hosted on GitHub seems to confuse some people). The ...
4
votes
3answers
122 views

How to completely get rid of proprietary code in the library?

I made a small library which I decided to open-source under the Apache 2.0 License on Github. Not long afterward I realized that some of the code in here makes use of proprietary information which ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Is Google's Chrome web browser truly open source?

I have been trying to understand if Google's Chrome web browser is truly open source. Some people claim that it is, while others claim that it integrates binary blobs for which the source is ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Can a GPL-licensed library be used in private development builds of a proprietary application?

I'm considering using this GPL-3.0-licensed library as a development aid in a game. Development builds that include this library (and other unrelated tools) would be used by myself and any parties ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Can an open source/free alternative put a company at risk? Has this ever happened?

There is a very nice quote by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa (Spanish writer and inventor) which reads: "El éxito o el fracaso de un invento no depende de a quien beneficia, sino de a quien perjudica." ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

Is Flameshot mislabeled on the Ubuntu Software Center?

Recently, I have seen Flameshot labeled as proprietary on the Ubuntu Software Center: (german text, "Proprietär" means "proprietary") Is Flameshot mislabeled on the Software Center, as it's official ...
4
votes
2answers
342 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
150 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) (...