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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
81 votes
Accepted

Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
52 votes

Can I use my own GPL'ed code in my closed source program?

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
23 votes
Accepted

Can I use a Apache v2 licensed driver for a commercial project without revealing sources of the project?

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.2k
17 votes
Accepted

Own LGPL code in proprietorial project

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
17 votes

How can I license open source software with a closed-source component?

I want repo #3 to be open source, but it uses both repo #1 and repo #2. How should I license repo #3? You can license repo #3 under a permissive open-source license, like MIT or Apache. Permissive ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
15 votes

Can I use my own GPL'ed code in my closed source program?

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 ...
sportzpikachu's user avatar
13 votes

Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project

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 ...
Basile Starynkevitch's user avatar
12 votes

Can a closed-source software be free

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. ...
whatsisname's user avatar
11 votes

Bypass LGPL license using wrapper library

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 ...
airfishey's user avatar
  • 1,904
11 votes

Use of BSD-3 Clause license and python software license for proprietary use

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-...
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Are open source projects growing faster relative to closed source ones?

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:...
SddS's user avatar
  • 276
11 votes

Open source licenses and royalties

How does that license model work in practice/technically? Generally, pretty well. Given a company that produces a free-software product which they will also host for a charge (ie, SaaS), users have ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
10 votes

How can I license open source software with a closed-source component?

While you can do this (with MIT at least, potentially others, but not a large choice), you're going to run into some fairly large issues. Firstly, there will be a lot of complaints, as in effect the ...
Ian Martin's user avatar
9 votes

Own LGPL code in proprietorial project

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 ...
vonbrand's user avatar
  • 5,267
9 votes
Accepted

Can I dynamically call a LGPL/GPL software in my closed-source application?

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 ...
Tim Malone's user avatar
  • 2,150
9 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to Bundle OpenJDK + HotSpot with a closed source application?

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 ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

License to disallow distribution in closed source software, but allow exceptions made by owner?

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.2k
8 votes
Accepted

If I use a mobile app that fetches data from a website under GPLv2+ is the app also under GPL?

The license of an application and the license of data that application produces can be independent, and are only interrelated if the data includes executable code from the executable itself: Is there ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.2k
8 votes

Maintaining open- and closed-source versions of same code

The customer don't mind me to open-source this code, but they would like the code to be available for use only in open-source projects, but not in commercial projects. This triggers me that it seems ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

BSD-3 Closed Source Attribution

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 ...
Glenn Randers-Pehrson's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Using Qt Designer to create UI design for closed source application

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:...
Andrei Smeltsov's user avatar
7 votes

License that says you must share changes if you use the code?

What licenses may I use to say you can't use my code to power your marketplace/hardware unless you open source your marketplace/firmware? If you want derived works to remain open-source, then you ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Can I link (and distribute) a closed source library within my (GPL) open source software?

My understanding is that the GPL is "viral" for what sits "on top" of the code with that license, that is: any derivative work, but not for what stays "below", that is: ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
6 votes

Can you change GPLv2 licensed software, but keep your new source closed?

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Apache License 2.0-licensed code included in commercial closed source software

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 ...
Steve Barnes's user avatar
6 votes

Finding open source in closed-source code?

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 ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
6 votes

Incorporating closed-source derivative into GPL code

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 ...
Glenn Randers-Pehrson's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Effect of 'download separately' on GPL linking

Strictly speaking this is out of scope of the GPL: The GPL would apply to your software iff your software is a derived work of the GPL library in the sense of copyright law. It is not up to the GPL to ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
6 votes
Accepted

What do I need the company I work for to do to open source a program I wrote for them?

The GPLv2 had some advice on the subject: You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if necessary. ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Is Google's Chrome web browser truly open source?

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k

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