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17
votes
3answers
1k views

With GPL, what does “source code” mean for non-software?

GPL is a license designed primarily for software, but it can be used for non-software. The license text has many mentions of "source code", which is ambiguous for non-software. GNU/FSF claim ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Can I Open Source a software for a particular operating system?

I am writing some software for a particular operating system, OS1. Imagine this is the most awesome software ever! I want the users of OS1 to use the software as open source and restrict all others ...
11
votes
1answer
365 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

Is CC-BY the least strict CC license for my open source project?

I have been working on an open source software. The software is in its final stages of testing and I will soon publish it under a CC license. I would like to release it under the least strict license (...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

Do I have full rights over derived works of my CC BY works?

Suppose I publish a product under a CC-BY license. Someone takes my product and remakes it into a slightly different product and publishes that under another license. Even though a version of my ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

How can an open source project attract new contributors? [duplicate]

One of the most common things that I see in open source projects is that they are maintained by a single developer. In my opinion, this often leads to abandoned projects due to the lack of time (or ...
10
votes
2answers
253 views

Can a project be open source even if you don't have a license?

Suppose I am working on a project. I publish this project on a website. I release it without a copyright notice OR a licence. But in the project title /description I say it is open source. My ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Which tasks on an open source project tend to be most often overlooked? [closed]

A collaborative project involves a number of people with different areas of expertise working on different aspects of the project. When thinking about attracting new contributors, are there any tasks ...
14
votes
1answer
254 views

Do I lose any rights with Canonical's Harmony CLA?

According to this wikipedia page: As of August 2011, Canonical is requesting contributions be licenced under a Harmony Contribution Licence Agreement, rather than the copyright being assigned to ...
7
votes
2answers
65 views

How does the optional Fiduciary Licence Agreement for KDE allow it to stay free/libre software?

According to this wikipedia page, KDE uses Free Software Foundation Europe's Fiduciary Licence Agreement, which assigns the copyright to KDE e.V. The following quote confused me: However, it is ...
7
votes
3answers
83 views

Do I need to make my users agree to a license?

Suppose I have a website. This website is an educational site and I am releasing it under [insert license here]. My question: Assuming I have the license at the bottom of the page, is there any need ...
14
votes
1answer
221 views

Is the capacity of open source developers an infinite resource?

Last year, I participated in a Birds of a Feather panel discussion at Devoxx. During this panel discussion, David Blevins explained: "We have this fairytale idea that open source is an infinite ...
3
votes
2answers
468 views

Can freeware be redistributed without changes? [closed]

Freeware is software that is provided gratis i.e. without cost, but without source or the freedoms like modification and redistributing those modifications. If freeware is being actively distributed ...
14
votes
3answers
321 views

Are there reusable CLAs?

Many FOSS projects require Contributor License Agreements (CLA) for all contributors. Even though we have many common FOSS software licenses, it seems that these projects have to create their own CLAs....
9
votes
1answer
127 views

What can you do if you can't track down all old contributors to sign a CLA?

Many FOSS projects start out without a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). Many, if they become large and successful, will want to transition to system based on CLAs. But what about if they can't ...
18
votes
2answers
517 views

Are Copyleft and Share-Alike synonyms?

Copyleft and Share-Alike are two very similar types of licences. Here is how Wikipedia defines them: Copyleft (a play of the word copyright) is the practice of offering people the right to freely ...
10
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a share-alike licence for media which specifies that the project files must be published as well as the finished media?

Is there any licence that can be used for artistic projects (images, music, etc.) that are similar to CC-BY-SA, but with the additional constraint that not only the resulting work should be made ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

Can I make a derived work of a GPL project and a non GPL project for personal use?

In the GNU General Public License, version 2, some limits on how you can modify the Program are listed. Point 2.b states that (emphasis mine): You must cause any work that you distribute or publish,...
10
votes
1answer
345 views

What am I supposed to do if someone is breaking the terms of my licensed software?

What should I do if someone is breaking the terms of my licensed software? To create a small example for you, I'll take a section out of the Apache 2.0 license: You may add Your own copyright ...
7
votes
2answers
463 views

In open source projects, how do you minimize sabotage risks?

Suppose you are working on a large open source project with 20+ people. Suppose one of these people get mad and decide they want to sabotage the entire project. My question: What measures (if any) ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

Do I have to offer the source of an AGPL (v3.0) licensed Web app even if I didn’t modify it?

The point of using the GNU Affero General Public License (Version 3) is that it allows "users who interact with the licensed software over a network to receive the source for that program" (FSF). ...
12
votes
5answers
271 views

Is any problem domain off-limits to open source development?

Partially inspired by this question: https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/613/what-subject-areas-are-in-need-of-free-and-open-source-projects Open source development has greatly enriched ...
14
votes
2answers
261 views

How can I trust Wikipedia, if everyone can change it?

If everyone can change the Wikipedia, can it be trusted? Do any studies exists that show it is less trustworthy than classical encyclopedias?
6
votes
1answer
80 views

What happens when a corporate sponsor goes bust?

Many of the larger open source projects receive serious backing from one or more Corporate sponsors. Depending on CLA's and the license chosen, if contributions were made by engineers during their ...
4
votes
1answer
979 views

Are there any open source Software as a Service projects?

According to this page Cloud software is slightly different than conventional software. As a general rule, you don't get access to the source code, even if the hosted software is built entirely on ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the best way to promote an open source product? [closed]

Suppose I was about to launch a large open source project. From past experience I know that the best way to promote a product is to provide information that is detailed, and easy to understand. Not ...
8
votes
1answer
44 views

Can I give someone specific permission?

Suppose I have a product released under some CC license. Someone comes to me and says "can I please build off of your software without giving credit?". To this I say sure! Do I need to write them a ...
9
votes
3answers
290 views

Did open source or closed source come first?

Throughout the development of programming itself which came first: open sourced or closed source? Which was more popular? Or did one come after the other?
5
votes
2answers
295 views

Do you need a degree to become an open source developer?

I know that people don't need degrees to create closed source software. My question: Because open source programming is different to closed source, is any other education REQUIRED to program open ...
9
votes
2answers
345 views

Are there statistics showing the usage over time of open source implementations of programming languages compilers/interpreters?

Many programming languages have popular open-source implementations: C, C++, Java, Javascript, Python, C#, PHP. Does statistical data exist that shows how much of the software (open source or not) ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Are there consequences of publishing software under a free or open source license?

When you publish software under a free or open source license, you are granting users certain freedoms. With that, it stands within reason there are certain consequences and liabilities, just as there ...
15
votes
4answers
841 views

What is the difference between free as in beer and free as in speech?

In open source the term "free" is often used, sometimes with a qualifier, "free as in beer" or "free as in speech". What is meant with these qualifications?
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What costs are involved in an open sourced project compared to a non open sourced project? [closed]

Often if employing a team to program a project you would need to pay: the programmers, office space, etc. My question: In open source projects is it common for the programmers to be volunteers? Are ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Why is the CC sampling+ license incompatible with other CC licenses?

Creative Commons used to publish a license called "Sampling Plus", but according to this page, it was retired/deprecated in 2011 due to inadequate demand and "Not compatible with any other CC license"....
11
votes
1answer
186 views

Do open source projects have better or worse female participation than proprietary projects?

Sometimes the claim is heard open source projects are especially unfriendly to women. Sometimes the claim is heard, that open-source projects are especially inclusive. It probably is impossible to ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

Awareness of the difference free/libre/open-source software and zero-cost software

Often when talking to friends or family they are unaware that open source is a completely different thing than free-ware. Are there studies about the awareness of open-source being a separate thing ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

How could I include my business partners / investors in the open source product development?

In my company we are developing a large open source piece of software. To do this we have hired many developers. To pay these developers we have gotten business partners and investors to help cover ...
7
votes
2answers
88 views

What prevents the community converging on a small set of licenses?

By a quick count, wikipedia lists almost fifty different open source / free software licenses. Assuming (and this may not be valid) that many of these licenses were created in the early days of the ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Could I charge people to use an open source license?

Suppose I invented a great open source license. I decided I wanted to gain money from it! my question: Is there any way I could charge people for using it? If yes, how? If no, why not, and what ...
12
votes
2answers
252 views

Studies about harassment in the world of open source development?

I was browsing around when I came across this: "Open Source is awful in many ways, and people should be aware of this". This really struck me and surprised me. While I understand that ...
12
votes
1answer
602 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
461 views

How to deal with a very productive contributor who wants to steer the project in a different direction?

I am part of a non-commercial bazaar-style open source project which is developed and maintained entirely by unpaid volunteers. A few months ago a new programmer joined our team who is both skilled ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the differences between GPL V2 and V3 licenses?

One of the most widely used and most popular free and open source software licences is the General Public License. I want to know in simple terms: what are the differences between GPL Version 2 and ...
20
votes
1answer
265 views

Has there been research about how aware the general public is of open source?

To (most) people in IT, terms like "open source" and "free software" bring up a lot of associations. (For some those association differ wildly between these two terms.) Does the same go for the ...
2
votes
3answers
511 views

Where should I place my Open Source license in my project? [duplicate]

Is there a specific location where I should place my Open Source license in my project?
4
votes
1answer
149 views

What are the best ways to get involved with open source projects? [closed]

I would like to know if someone could explain to me how to go about working on an open source project. I know that you can use git and other types of programs to commit code, but is there some sort of ...
9
votes
2answers
61 views

Using only a part of a collaboratively created work – whom to attribute?

On sites like Stack Overflow and Wikipedia (both use CC BY-SA 3.0), users can collaboratively create/edit a work. If I distribute such a work, I have to attribute all contributing users. But what if I ...
14
votes
1answer
430 views

How do Chromium and Chrome relate to each other?

Google Chrome and Chromium look very similar and seem related. How exactly do Google Chrome and Chromium relate to each other, and why are they separate products?
9
votes
2answers
82 views

Does the licence of the database used have an influence on the final licence of the product?

Assume a standard server-side Web application. Database, backend, frontend. It's basic knowledge that one should check the licences of the libraries used before deciding on the license for the final ...

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