What's the deal with Deno? We talk with a major contributor to find out. Listen now.
77

Person A has no right to distribute that software, and is committing a copyright violation. Since they hold no rights in the software, they cannot grant a license to others. Any license they purport to offer is void. Third parties that are relying on A's license are probably acting in good faith, but they didn't actually receive a license. When they become ...


50

You can freely issue additional licenses to your own GPL software, without restriction. Licenses can either give an exclusive or non-exclusive right. For example, an employment contract will typically give the employer exclusive rights to whatever the employee produces as part of their work. But the GPL is non-exclusive, thus allowing multiple licenses for ...


17

As the owner of the copyright, you can do what you want with your code. It is others who are bound by the licence(s) under which you distribute the code, because they accept those licences when they receive the code (strictly, when they do something for which they have no permission if they don't accept the licence). You yourself can do what you like with ...


14

IANAL/TINLA: Proceed at your own risk. Yes. According to the GPL FAQ, it states here two things: I would like to release a program I wrote under the GNU GPL, but I would like to use the same code in nonfree programs. To release a nonfree program is always ethically tainted, but legally there is no obstacle to your doing this. If you are the copyright ...


13

You can't do that. When you adapt the work, you are creating a derivative work you have no license to distribute for. You can't re-license and distribute this work under any license as you don't own the full copyright. People noticing you break the licensing terms of a product doesn't have any influence on whether you are allowed to break the licensing ...


12

What you describe is usually called freeware. The FSF does not consider freeware to be free software, considering it to be proprietary software, and asks people not to call free software freeware. So such a software package would not be permitted in the Ubuntu universe repository.


12

The Project_A is a decompiled version of another project (Project_B). But the original Project_B is not open source, AND Project_B never granted Person_A permission to open source the project. You are asking a legal question (so consult your lawyer). I am not a lawyer, but I am understanding that in the European Union, decompilation or reverse engineering ...


11

BSD-3 clause is a very permissive license that does not require you disclosing your source code or the source code of the open source libraries. You are not required to allow your users to re-distribute the binaries either. You are required to display any copyright statements from the BSD licensed libraries, and you are required to display the BSD license ...


11

This totally depends on the dynamic of user base (both users and contributors) as the project evolves. Also it depends on dynamic of bazaar, technology, sponsorship, rivals, etc. So consider this case: Let's consider two projects (one close and one open source) but both have same financial support and management (hence same dynamics regarding outer ...


10

Theoretically, all that needs to be done to make a previously closed source project open source is to put the sourcecode online with an OSI or FSF approved license of your choice attached. However, before you publish your sourcecode, a few things should be checked: Have you read and understood the license and checked it with your legal department? It is ...


10

I assume by "commercial project" you mean that you do not wish to disclose the source code for the product you are developing. Please correct me if my understanding is incorrect, as it is the basis of this answer. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. The LGPL 2.1, which appears to be the license of TinyMCE, is actually more permissive than the ...


9

To the best of my knowledge Hotspot and most of the JVM code (mostly C/C++ native code) in the OpenJDK is released under the GPL 2.0 with Assembly Exception and not a "bare" GPL. This is in addition to the Classpath exception to the GPL that applies mostly to the runtime library code. The links I provided here are for OpenJDK 7, but there has not ...


9

Sadly, there is little you can do. I believe you can argue that you accepted the code in good faith, and avoid the worst. Try to collect and organize any evidence of the affair (emails, commit identifiers, ...). Keep a copy of the current version control system contents around. To replace the tainted code, you can see if you can set different objectives (...


9

Is this even really Open Source software? The parts that have source code available and are licensed under an open source license are open source software, according to the OSI. The parts that do not have source code available or are not licensed under an open source license are not open source software. Since the software includes some components that ...


9

Your code is your own, you can use it in closed products while giving away copies under e.g. LGPL. Just be clear that if I take your code and modify it under LGPL (e.g. to fix bugs) you are not allowed to take my changes (under LGPL) and use it in the closed product. You might ask everybody to write over their rights to their changes to you, but that'd very ...


8

This answer was originally posted by Josh Kelley at StackOverflow (second link might be visible to 10k+ only), but was removed there due to being off-topic. It has been preserved here in light of this Meta StackOverflow request. Linking has a specific meaning in computer programming. You're not linking GPL'ed or LGPL'ed code at all, you're only spawning a ...


8

The practice of selling exceptions to the GPL is perfectly commonplace, but you must either be the sole copyright holder, or else have prior permission from all other copyright holders. In order to achieve the latter, you must have other contributors agree to a contributor licensing agreement (CLA) that allows you, specifically, to offer that contributor's ...


7

Martijn is right: you can't transcompile, translate, transliterate, or in any other way transcribe and distribute the code of a work you don't have the rights to do so for. In most commercial proprietary ventures, you don't have those rights, so you can't do this. However, you can attempt to recreate the software. Many people do this: there are open source ...


7

An open source license is a grant from the copyright holder to someone else, giving them additional rights. If I give you the rights to version 2 of my work, I don't have to give you rights to use version 3 of my work, because it's mine. If version 2 is GPL, version 3 can be BSD licensed, closed source, or only available to Martians, that's up to me. Now, ...


7

The only attribution required by BSD is to maintain the copyright/license statement within your sources, but if you aren't distributing the code you don't even need to do that (although you should, in case years from now you or your heirs want to transfer the software to someone else). As @Philipe Ombredanne pointed out, redistributions of BSD-3 licensed ...


6

For instance, I have some software code under the GNU GPL v2 license on github. If some evil developer want to steal my code and use it in a closed-source software, how could I be aware of it, and how could I prove it since I don't have access to his source code ? You cannot and you should not care. The ransom of success is that you may get a few unethical ...


6

To my understanding, if I modify the library, I need to give the source of the library with the changes highlighted. No, you have no such obligation. The Apache 2.0 license does not contain any copyleft requirements that would require you to share your modified source code. From the Apache License FAQ: I HAVE MADE CHANGES TO AN APACHE PACKAGE AND I WANT TO ...


6

As @vonbrand suggests, try to make a separate clean room implementation of the said source-code and then get rid of it. The ideal way is to give the new implementation task to a new member who doesn't know anything about the tainted code and just instruct him/her with the business-logic that needs implemented in the said module.


6

AFAIK if you are simply linking to an Apache Licence 2.0 library your only obligations are to include attribution, copyright notices and disclaimer and you may modify the original code as long as you state that you have done so not necessarily including details of what your modifications are. You don't even have to release your modifications in source form ...


6

Firstly, IANAL/IANYL. That said, if you start from the existing kernel, it is likely that anything you create from it - even if you were to replace every single line of code - will be a derivative work of the existing kernel. To re-implement an existing work without falling foul of that requires an "arm's-length" technique known as clean-room ...


6

Yes you are allowed to do so. Qt Designer is available under not just GPL but "GPLv3 with The Qt Company GPL Exception 1.0" Here is the exception: The Qt Company GPL Exception 1.0 Exception 1: As a special exception you may create a larger work which contains the output of this application and distribute that work under terms of your choice,...


6

Google Chrome is not fully open source, but closely based on the open-source Chromium project, which itself is built around the open-source Blink engine. Chromium still includes tight integrations with many Google services though. But Chromium is perfectly usable as a browser. Other than Google Chrome, a large number of browsers and similar projects are ...


5

Starting from MemTest86 v5, the code was re-written to support self booting from the newer UEFI platform. MemTest86's History If you have written new code, then you own the copyright of that code and thereby the right to license that code however you want. So it's really a question of how they can keep the name. It all depends on if the name of MemTest86 ...


5

First, the most general case: All common open source licenses permit any legal entity to make a private copy and to use it for their private, internal use. Some common open source license (Copyleft/Free) impose restrictions on other uses, such as distributing a derived work or running a service on the internet using the derived work. You framed the ...


5

If you are the sole author of the entire closed-source project, then nothing prevents you from extracting a part of the project and releasing that under another license, either as a new standalone project or incorporated into another project. This would have no effect on the licensing status of your closed-source project. Standard IANAL/TINLA disclaimer: I ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible