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5
votes
1answer
53 views

Does open hardware attract contributors in similar speed as open source software early on did?

This originally sprang out of this Meta question, and then a quick discussion in chat. This question is designed to test the underlying assumption behind the Meta question. It seems to some that open ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

What parts of the Novena are not open source?

Novena tries to be an open source computing platform. But so far it's only partially open source. Which parts are still not open source and have to be replaced to create a fully open source platform? ...
11
votes
3answers
324 views

Can I create a derivative of an old book?

Copyright for old works expire at some point. In most countries that happens 70 years after authors death. Can I take a book with expired copyright (say Dickens Oliver Twist), change it substantially (...
6
votes
3answers
132 views

Is there an institution that accepts and promotes open hardware licenses?

In the software world the FSF and the OSI both accept licenses as free/open. They also promote licenses for usage. In the hardware world some open source licenses have been created, like the TAPR Open ...
4
votes
2answers
855 views

Do open source cooking recipes exist?

Cooking recipes are often used to explain novice programmers about the concept of algorithms. There are some basic similarities to these two. So I ask myself, if there are open source programs, are ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the influence/significance of Emacs to the Free Software Movement?

I've read somewhere that Emacs was important for the development of the idea of Free Software. How can that be if it's just a piece of software? Or is there more to it? There is even a church of ...
16
votes
3answers
510 views

Does the open/free content movement lower the barriers of entry for non-qualified people?

The question Do you need a degree ... was closed as off-topic as it clearly applied to any area of development, not specifically open/free content development. This question is a re-framing, but very ...
6
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
57
votes
9answers
6k views

Why do some people refer to Linux as GNU/Linux?

In some cases I have noticed that some people say GNU/Linux instead of just Linux. Why is that so? Do both terms mean the same or is there a subtle difference?
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I upgrade from GPLv2 to GPLv3?

Consider I've written a program and released it under the GNU GPL version 2. Now I want to release it under the GNU GPL version 3. Let's call this "upgrading the license". Is this possible? How do I ...
6
votes
2answers
617 views

Can voters modify the code of a voting computer?

Consider a voting computer. The software running this computer is licensed under the GNU GPL v3. Does this license mean that the voters using this computer to cast their votes must be able to modify ...
8
votes
3answers
134 views

How do I ensure my documentary adheres to Open Source principles as closely as possible?

The question Do open source movies exist? and specifically this comment made me curious about Open Source movies. It seems like most Open Source movies are animated, which makes sense since you can ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

Are the contents of an image covered by the license applied to the image?

Suppose I have an image of a piece of paper on which I wrote. I publish this image under an open source CC-BY license on my website. My question: Is the text in the image now also licensed under a ...
8
votes
2answers
111 views

Do I have to exclude quotations in the license notice?

I want to publish a blog post under a Creative Commons license (e.g., CC BY-SA 4.0). This post includes several quotations (to the extent allowed by copyright law) from works which are not licensed ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do open source movies exist?

I've encountered open/free (as in freedom) music, books, hardware, knowledge and naturally software. But do open source movies also exist? Is that even possible?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How did the first Linux distribution(s) develop?

In this question I asked why distribution are more common in the Open Source and Linux environment. It seems that a) open source makes the job easier for the distributor as it isn't needed to ask for ...
25
votes
4answers
12k views

What does 'upstream' mean?

In some documents or blogs about development in open source projects, you can read stuff like 'upstream developer' or 'upstream fix'. What does that mean?
16
votes
2answers
199 views

How can I get my program into a Linux distribution (Debian)?

Assume I have programmed a cool application and released it as open source. But not many people are using it, as most install their programs through their distribution of choice. Can I somehow add ...
16
votes
3answers
200 views

Is CC BY attribution transitive?

CC BY (4.0) is a flexible, permissive license that requires attributing the licensor. What if: Alice creates an artwork and distributes under CC BY, which is adapted by Bob who also distributes under ...
11
votes
2answers
175 views

Can I quote stuff from a copyrighted piece of text and publish it open sourced?

Suppose I am writing an article for a website. I go to a website for research, and I find a piece of text I want to include. At the bottom of the website it says "Copyright website.com 2015". My ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Are there any metrics/papers/studies on ease of contributing to projects?

The resounding "No!" answer to Should I feel guilty for one off contributions? raises the question, for me, of how easily a user could become a contributor to a given project. "Easily" is obviously ...
10
votes
2answers
860 views

Does the GNU GPL 3 prohibit DRM?

Is DRM, which some spell as "Digital Rights Management", others as "Digital Restriction Management", allowed by the GPL? In other words, can software that implements DRM be licensed under the GPL? ...
12
votes
2answers
444 views

Can I leave out parts of a CC BY-ND licensed work when distributing it?

I want to redistribute a work licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0. The license summary says about ND (NoDerivatives): If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How does one combine differently licensed code in one open source program?

I'm the author of WorldPainter. It's licensed according to the GPL v3, but I am about to include some code (dynmap) that is licensed according to the Apache License version 2.0. According to both ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

GPL v3 “convey” vs. GPL v2 “distribute”

I've noticed that the GNU GPL version 3 uses the word "convey" where version 2 used "distriubte": GNU GPLv3: To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or ...
10
votes
2answers
904 views

Can I omit the preamble of the GPL?

The GNU GPL is very long. If I have to include a copy of it with my program, can I drop the preamble to save space?
8
votes
3answers
658 views

Does using the GPL for a program make it GNU software?

Let's assume I write a program and release it under the GNU GPL. Can I call this software "GNU software"? If not, what is necessary to make it a part of GNU?
8
votes
3answers
219 views

What methods could you use to prevent broken licensing links?

Suppose you have an open source piece of software. You decide you want to publish the software under an open source license. You spend time researching licenses online and finally you find the perfect ...
11
votes
3answers
285 views

Can I apply one license to specific users and another to others?

Suppose I am a developer. I am developing a piece of software. I decide I want to make this code open source. But... I only want developers (or people that will be using the code in other projects) to ...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

Are open source developers at risk of being scammed?

Suppose your client asks you to build open source software for them. You begin doing the work and publishing updates on GitHub, but when you finish they tell you they don't like it and won't pay for ...
5
votes
4answers
290 views

Can I make a specific line of code not open source?

Suppose I am working on a piece of software. I want to release it under an open source license. But after thought I decide that line 36 I would like to keep closed source. After doing research, I am ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

How much of the project needs to be open source for it be be considered open source?

I know that you can make parts of a project open source and keep other parts colosed source. Suppose I have a peice of software and I only make 1 line of the code in the software open source. My ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I do if my contributors are split into two camps?

Note: this is a hypothetical situation, not one I have actually encountered. (And one I hope I won't encounter) I started a small open source project and have gathered a few loyal committers. We don'...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

If the copyright-owner claims his works to be open source, do they have to release the source somewhere?

The copyright-owner can choose any license they wish to. But if they decide to choose an open source license (lets say Apache 2), how much do they have to conform to the license? Especially, do they ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there standard templates or clauses to exempt contributed code from rights assignment?

A customer project built on an FLOSS platform or framework (a CMS like Drupal for instance) may require some fixes to the underlying platform if it is pushing the limits or is being delivered on a ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

How to license Stack Overflow contributions as permissive as possible? [duplicate]

Important: this related Meta Stack Exchange post. Code you post on Stack Overflow is licensed "cc-by-sa 3.0 with attribution required". Now this may pose problems for people wanting to use my ...
5
votes
1answer
375 views

Does licensing JavaScript code under the GPL require publishing the non-concatenated source code?

Webix is a UI components library licensed under the GPL, with a FLOSS exception. On GitHub, they have distributed JavaScript in concatenated form only. Must the authors of Webix publish the non-...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

How does GPL affect binary-only modifications?

GPL is a copyleft license where, if I make modifications to the source code and distribute the resulting binary, I need to provide the modified source code also under the GPL. What happens if I make ...
11
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

Is there a simple web licence for a backlink?

I'm a BSD developer, and I prefer to have a clear ISC licence at the top of every file that is fully self-sufficient in regards to the exact terms that I'm imposing on my work. Is there a variation ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

License for code snippets?

I share small snippets of code with friends, and would like to post them online for others to use. I'm not sure of the best license? I was thinking MIT, but it includes this clause: The above ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

I'm a little confused by copyright notices on open source projects. Let's say that a particular project is covered by a very permissive license, such as MIT or BSD. A copyright notice appears from ...
8
votes
4answers
146 views

Why is open source software often shared via distributions?

Linux comes most often to your computer as a distribution. This distribution contains a lot more than only Linux: Browser, Editor, Games, Terminal, Spreadsheet and so on. But nearly all software in ...
10
votes
1answer
272 views

What is Open Knowledge, and how is it different from Open Data?

According to the Open Definition: “Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).” Open Data ...
8
votes
2answers
197 views

Does an employee have the right to use a CTA?

Most people who work in software development have signed an Intellectual Property Rights Assignment notice whenever they start a new job. The purpose of these assignments is to ensure the employer ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

How does the DMCA affect me as a FLOSS developer? [closed]

As a creator of a FLOSS project, what do I need to know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? As an example, Github is often forced to remove sites based on DMCA requests. The requests are ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are only so few Linux distributions listed by the GNU project?

The GNU project has a list of free GNU/Linux distributions. But it lists only a few Linux distros, although hundreds do exist. Even more, very common distributions like Debian, Linux Mint or Gentoo ...
13
votes
2answers
120 views

Is technology in expired patents open source?

After a patent expires people are free to use it. Does this means, that the technology described in the claims are then Open Source?
8
votes
2answers
194 views

When does a forked project require a license?

I haven't quite grasped the implications of forking a licensed project to public. I am assuming that a similar license should be kept, but what happens if that's not possible? Edit I am providing ...
20
votes
1answer
747 views

What is the difference between a CLA and a CTA?

I've seen that some projects require a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) and some require a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). Some examples of places using a CLA: Django Google jQuery Some ...

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