80 votes
Accepted

Is GitHub "releases" section safe from malicious code? To be specific, does the binary match the code in a restrictive way?

There are no guarantees that the uploaded artefacts match the source code in the repository. That something is on GitHub does not mean that it can be trusted. You need to also trust the maintainers of ...
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  • 32.8k
18 votes
Accepted

Is there any way to assert that a source code correspond to a compiled code?

The naive answer is, of course, to build it yourself and verify that your built binary is identical to the binary supplied by the other party. So much for the theory. In practice, this can be ...
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  • 30.8k
16 votes
Accepted

MIT-licensed app without the source code

The MIT license doesn't require source code to be published. It only requires that the license notice is kept intact. MIT-licensed binaries without source code are rare – no source kinda defeats the ...
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  • 32.8k
11 votes
Accepted

How does GPL affect binary-only modifications?

The GPL, version 3, has the following to say about distributing modified copies of a covered program in a form other than source code: Section 6: You may convey a covered work in object code form ...
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  • 973
8 votes
Accepted

Can a quine be distributed as binary only and be open source?

This is categorically fine under the MIT license (as long as you follow basic attribution and license-preservation requirements), since the MIT license allows you to distribute the work (and modified ...
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  • 30.8k
8 votes
Accepted

BSD 3-Clause: where to place license for binary installation?

You are required to attribute the authors of any libraries you use, regardless of whether this is explicitly required by the libraries' licenses. The BSD license only mentions a suggested place for ...
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  • 32.8k
8 votes

Should my project provide precompiled binaries?

Trichoplax suggested a number of advantages to providing binaries, but no disadvantages. Clearly, the largest advantage to providing binaries is the high probability that this will increase the size ...
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  • 6,645
8 votes

Should my project provide precompiled binaries?

There are several reasons to provide binaries, some stronger than others: First a passive reason - "Why not?" : if you have any users on a given target platform, the code will need to be tested on ...
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  • 2,149
6 votes
Accepted

Shipping GPL'd binaries in commercial product

This will be partly down to interpretation, and IANAL. However this is how I'd read it: that you can indeed distribute in the way you have described, because all you're doing is executing and reading ...
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  • 2,100
6 votes
Accepted

What does the binary blob in the linux kernel do?

Most of the binary blobs in Linux are in device drivers, and most of those are in WiFi drivers. Their function is to be the operating code for the hardware on the device; unless they're loaded when ...
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  • 37.6k
5 votes
Accepted

How does Linux with pre-installed binaries comply with binary redistribution license clause?

Generally, it's handled by the distro's package management utility. For example, if I examine the contents of postgresql-libs on my desktop (Fedora 28), I find that: [me@risby personal]$ rpm -ql ...
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  • 37.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Using dynamically linked library with BSD 3-clause License

No, you do not need to change the license of your dll and you do not need to publish any source code. In contrast to a strong copyleft, non-permissive license like the GPL the BSD licenses are instead ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is there a free open source version of Android SDK available for use?

The source code itself is available here: https://android.googlesource.com/platform/sdk/+/master/ There is Android Rebuilds project which provides binaries built from this source code without non-free ...
5 votes

Open source software: How do I know whether it uses the actual code?

It’s not possible to validate it 100% but you can get close. As a prerequisite, the app needs to support reproducible builds. That means you need the information how to compile and package the target ...
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  • 151
5 votes

Changing the binary/project name under BSD 3-clause license

Yes, you can change both the name of the project and the name of the executable. The 3-clause BSD license gives you permission to make changes to the project and that includes the changes you want to ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Use of GPL licensed driver in commercial project

There are some legal implications for using a GPLv2 licensed driver, but they are not very onerous. The main requirement is that you inform your customers about the fact that GPLv2 licensed software ...
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5 votes
Accepted

License where somebody can distribute modified binaries but if they do I can disassemble them and help myself to the changes

As long as the binary is under an open source license, you would have rights to disassemble it and distribute the results (optionally modified). However, with a permissive license like BSD or MIT/X11, ...
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  • 30.8k
4 votes

Does distributing GPL software along with binary image force the binary image to be GPL too?

Generally, the output of a piece of software is not covered by the piece of software's licence, because the output is not a derivative work of the piece of software. Using a GPL-covered program to ...
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  • 37.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I bundle a GPL-2 binary (Pandoc) with my GPL-3 app?

Pandoc is available under the terms of the GPL version 2 or greater so the different versions are not relevant: you can just use the terms of the GPLv3. Even then, bundling a GPLv2 program with a ...
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  • 32.8k
4 votes

Source code or binaries? How important is this?

Well, without source code it isn't open source. The availability of source code allows for others to change the code, one of the main reasons to have open source in the first place. Without source ...
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  • 10.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Distribute SWF (binary) files with open source license?

Yes you can; you are the copyright holder so you can apply whatever license you want. However, I recommend that you avoid the licenses designed for source code (such as GPL, BSD and so on) and choose ...
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  • 8,415
4 votes

Do licenses actually apply to the source code or product itself?

As far as copyright law is concerned, source code and object code (i.e. the compiled program) are equivalent. So even if a license talks about one and not the other, or only mentions "software", the ...
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  • 8,415
4 votes
Accepted

What happens to Cloud providers, if I download a GPL Binaries from cloud storage service?

... I upload a GPL binary to google drive and then provide a link for everyone ... You are the distributor here, Not Google. Also Google's Terms and conditions mentions scenarios like this, and ...
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  • 340
3 votes

What does it mean for a closed source project to have a permissive licence (CC BY-NC)?

CC BY-NC is not a permissive license. Neither the FSF nor the OSI approved it, so it’s not a free software license nor an open source license. The reason is the "NC" part: the licensed work may not be ...
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  • 5,300
3 votes

How does GPL affect binary-only modifications?

If you hex-edit the binary then the original source becomes less relevant and you have effectively made the new binary "the preferred form of the work for making modifications". Certainly if I wanted ...
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  • 395
3 votes
Accepted

Sign and distribute unmodified GNU GPLv2, MIT and Apache2 Linux packages

Does the fact that I sign and distribute runtime & SDK used to write the component oblige me to change the component's license to MIT / Apache2? No, software under Apache 2 or MIT/Expat/X11 ...
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  • 30.8k
2 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to be open source but restrict distribution of compiled binaries?

IANAL/IANYL. That said, the only halfway house I can think of is the path that Red Hat have taken with access to RHEL. If you want to get precompiled binaries (of other people's GPL'ed software) ...
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  • 37.6k
2 votes
Accepted

Can I have the source code of my Python/C++ project under MIT/BSD/Apache2.0 and its PyPI binary wheel under GPLv2?

Can I use a more permissive licence (e.g., BSD/MIT/Apache) for my source code on GitHub, and at the same time use a GPLv2 license for its PyPI binary distribution? Yes, you can. You can even create a ...
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2 votes

Licensing a closed-source game to allow redistribution in an otherwise open-source project

The 2-clause BSD license is a permissive license, so from that side there is no expectation that the license is incompatible. There is a possibility that the license of the binary-only code forbids ...
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