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38 votes
3 answers
3k views

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Creative Commons defines a CC0 license type (here's the full legal code) that claims to allow creators to release their works into the public domain by waiving "all their copyright and related rights ...
  • 525
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is open source software less or more secure than proprietary software? [closed]

Free software evangelists often advertise free and open source software to be more secure than proprietary alternatives. Is this true, and why? Are there security reasons not to use free and open ...
  • 279
5 votes
2 answers
179 views

How do I recruit a graphic designer to help on a project with no funding involved? [closed]

Recognized graphic designers usually charge a fee for their work, but what if this project isn't expecting any funds and is expected to run purely off the community? How would I attract a graphic ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
317 views

How can I make a customer understand that free software involves some costs? [closed]

A common misunderstanding is that free software (replace the terms with "open source software" as you wish) will never involve costs. While this might be indeed true regarding you don't need to pay ...
  • 279
12 votes
2 answers
230 views

What is the Open Governance Model? How is it different from other models?

The prime example being iojs as a fork of nodejs, where the main difference being (aside from the obvious advancement in technology versioning and being more up-to-date), is that iojs has an Open ...
7 votes
1 answer
115 views

How should I approach open sourcing a library from work?

I've developed a small and useful library at work, I have permission from legal department, what are the steps I should take before, during and after open sourcing the project? How would I transform ...
8 votes
4 answers
85 views

Legal pitfalls when (re)selling OS solutions?

What legal pitfalls should be considered when (re)selling OS bases solutions? As you can't ask any fee for the Open Source code itself this seems a sensitive area to me.
  • 447
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

What should I keep a close attention to when selecting a license for my project? [closed]

There are plenty of open source licenses out there. What should a person especially keep in mind while they're selecting a license for their project?
  • 1,339
126 votes
6 answers
15k views

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

Many open source projects I see involve having dedicated servers, as well as the expensive infrastructure that powers it. Many employ developers to work on the software full or part time. What are ...
  • 1,759
15 votes
4 answers
205 views

What is the most concise unambiguous way to represent dual licensing of a work?

I publish photos under multiple Creative Commons licenses and often want to indicate the licensing in a short caption or comment on the photo online or in print. If one of them is dual licensed, how ...
  • 1,069
23 votes
2 answers
458 views

Is OSI approval important for a license?

I've heard an open source license described as "popular and OSI-approved". To that, someone asks: Is OSI approval important? which is a great — and important — question in its own right. So, is ...
  • 662
9 votes
3 answers
234 views

How does one enforce aspects of a license?

I've been provided a SourceMod plugin for a community game server. I was provided the compiled plugin, but not the source code. The license and explanation provided describes all SourceMod plugins as ...
  • 708
4 votes
1 answer
475 views

What happens when a GPL licence is changed to a LGPL?

I'm using an open source library under GPL in a closed source project. If the libraries license changes from GPL to LGPL, does it mean the previous code (written when the library was GPL) should be ...
45 votes
9 answers
3k views

Does open source qualify as being part of the public domain?

According to Google, Open Source is... denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. It seems to be that the product seems to ...
  • 6,259
38 votes
6 answers
1k views

How do I attract new programmers?

I am working on a project, currently by myself. It's a side project, I'm not expecting to make money on it. It's posted on GitHub, and I'm going to be building a project page for it. Once it's built, ...
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I restrict who can utilize my software?

Can a project be licensed as "open source", yet place a restriction on who can utilize the software? For example, if my software falls under software export controls, can I continue to license it as "...
  • 708
46 votes
3 answers
7k views

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

Some years ago, I was working on a software company that used some copyrighted JAR dependencies that they had bought from a medium-size obscure private company for a very expensive price. After some ...
16 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can I find usage statistics for an open source project?

Put simply, is there any way to find out how widely used a given open source project is? Say, for example, I am looking for a serialization library. I can imagine various metrics to help choose ...
  • 6,745
26 votes
4 answers
3k views

If I include some GPL code in my project, can I release it as BSD?

I have scientific software that I would like to release under the BSD 3-clause licence, but it includes some old code that was released under GPL. Can I still package it all and release as BSD?
  • 397
88 votes
5 answers
12k views

How can a project be relicensed?

I've found out that the license I picked for my project does not quite do what I wanted it do (bad research). Now I want to change the license. Is it as simple as changing the LICENSE.txt in the root?...
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

What should I look for in a platform to make my project easy to edit? [closed]

To clarify, since I don't know if "platform" is the right word: I'm talking about things like GitHub or the late Google Code. What features should I look for in a code publishing platform so that ...
  • 137
15 votes
1 answer
239 views

What license must I use on a commercial version of an open source project?

Suppose I have published a project under the Apache 2.0 (or similarly permissive license). Internally I have another version of the same project, which provides significantly extended functionality ...
  • 6,745
24 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the advantages of adding a Contributor License Agreement to a project?

Some projects have a Contributor License Agreement (as example the CLA of the Apache foundation). What is it for? What are the consequences when I don't have one?
28 votes
4 answers
14k views

What's the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses?

I've heard both terms thrown around, but I'm a bit unclear as to how the licenses differ. How is copyleft different to a permissive license? Is copyleft just the standard for open source licenses?
18 votes
4 answers
420 views

Very permissive license

I'm about to launch my current project as Open Source. People should feel free to do with the code whatever they want and luckily there are quite a few licensing options to choose from. So I'm ...
  • 427
25 votes
5 answers
423 views

How do I stop people from opening questions in the issue tracker?

I'm a collaborator in a pretty popular open source project hosted on GitHub. We have a problem where people constantly show up in the issue tracker and post questions about the library. Dealing with ...
36 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I change the caps to lowercase in licenses?

The well-known MIT (or "X11/MIT" license reads): Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
1k views

When should I consider creating a private fork of a suitably licensed project for commercial use?

Suppose I am developing a commercial product, but one heavily based on open source software. Further suppose one of the open source projects I use has a permissive license (such as Apache 2). At some ...
  • 6,745
9 votes
3 answers
240 views

How do I structure my project in an inviting way? [closed]

When I work on new libraries and tools I potentially would like them to get contributors and activity. However, I'm not sure what I could to in order to encourage more participation. As a project ...
10 votes
1 answer
291 views

How can I recover content from an open source project host that has shut down?

Codehaus shut down earlier this year. Many projects that were hosted there, including JIRA pages like this one, are now broken. What can I do to access all the lost content of projects that were ...
14 votes
2 answers
211 views

Do software patents for common formats (gif, mp3, h264) apply globally? [closed]

I've been told that I should not use some format because it's patented (gif, mp3, h264). I'm not a U.S. citizen but from E.U. Do these patents apply to me? Are they global? U.S. specific? Or is it ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
686 views

How do I choose a suitable license for my academic software? [closed]

I'm in academia and I think that as a matter of principle, my code should be open source. It's not likely to have a lot of users. It might have none other than myself. I have it published on github, ...
  • 383
63 votes
3 answers
5k views

How can I determine if two open source licenses are compatible with each other?

Given two open source projects, each with different licenses, are there metrics or resources I can use to determine if it is legitimate to copy code from one of the projects to the other?
  • 1,069

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