71 votes
Accepted

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

You've noticed that if a piece of software is "free as in speech," it will probably become "free as in beer" too. That's completely true. The important thing, however, is that the ...
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  • 1,005
62 votes
Accepted

Can I license my project with an open-source license but disallow commercial use?

No free/open-source license may disallow commercial use. The whole purpose of the Free and Open movements is an altruistic one: if you're making your project free and open, you're gifting it to the ...
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  • 8,700
59 votes
Accepted

Can I relicense an abandoned GPL project if the copyright owners are no longer responsive?

The GPL, and software licensing in general, must be understood in the wider context of copyright. Only the copyright holder of a software can issue a license. You have no rights to the software, ...
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  • 33.2k
41 votes

How can I deal with this (predatory?) scenario?

TL;DR: Open Source is not about fairness, but about Software Freedom. It is irrational to publish Open Source, and to be then surprised that others are exercising their freedoms. Once a company has ...
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  • 33.2k
39 votes
Accepted

Can GPL licenced software be used in corporate environments?

Software licensed with any GNU license can be used and even modified everywhere, including in a corporate environment, without any restrictions. However be aware that if you (or the company) ever ...
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34 votes
Accepted

How is selling FLOSS packages for monetary compensation a viable strategy?

Some years ago, before ubiquitous access to the Internet, you could sometimes make money on free software by selling it on a professionally produced CD-ROM. People would pay for having a verified ...
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  • 8,645
26 votes

What are the advantages of making an open source project free?

Nothing prevents charging for open source software. In fact, if a license forbids charging for the software, it is not free/open-source, because it violates the freedom to distribute. Charging for ...
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25 votes

Can GPL licenced software be used in corporate environments?

Of course free software can be used and even modified without restrictions in a corporate or for-profit environment! (Edit: Re-distribution of modified free software requires that you make the source ...
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  • 8,645
21 votes

What does it mean by "commercial support available" for an open-source platform?

Commercial support is support offered on a business basis, to meet business needs. Commercial support is not compulsory, and indeed many (I'd say most) open source projects do not advertise this. ...
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  • 311
18 votes

Can GPL licenced software be used in corporate environments?

The Open Source Initiative considers the GNU GPL and LGPL to be approved licenses, which means that they meet their Open Source Definition. Criteria for qualifying as Open Source licenses include "No ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Open-source license to prevent commercial use?

What you are looking for is, I think, the common practice of selling exceptions. When an organization or a company is the sole copyright owner of a software, or have a permission to do so from all ...
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  • 5,257
16 votes

Can I license my project with an open-source license but disallow commercial use?

Yes you can (but with big caveats) There are several licences that disallow commercial use of the software (or other intellectual property). Most notably CC BY-NC 3.0 but please keep in mind that it'...
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15 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 ...
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  • 30.9k
15 votes

Is it possible to restrict GNU GPLv3 to non-commercial use only?

The natural interpretation of such a license declaration is that they are dual licensing their work: You can use and distribute it under the terms of the GPL3, which because it is a copyleft license ...
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14 votes

How can I license a YouTube commercial which includes CC BY-SA Licensed music?

The Creative Commons organization has a page on Legal Music For Videos which states (emphasis mine): Under CC licenses, synching the music to images amounts to transforming the music, so you can’t ...
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  • 30.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Open-source license (probably not FLOSS) that allows "use in a commercial context" but disallow "to sell the software or modified versions"?

There are no open-source licenses that forbid selling copies of the software, because that kind of restriction is not allowed in a license that is recognized as an open-source license by the community/...
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14 votes

Can I relicense an abandoned GPL project if the copyright owners are no longer responsive?

Copyright does not allow for that. You need to wait 70 years after the copyright holders' deaths to do this. In that respect it is no different from a closed source license: If you want to change the ...
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  • 241
14 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

This is why most Open Source vendors sell service plans rather than software. Yes, the nature of Open Source licenses would allow anyone to download and install the software for free, and to in turn ...
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13 votes

Can GPL licenced software be used in corporate environments?

As has been said by everyone, there is no issue with a business using GPL licensed software within its organization. It happens all the time. I have noticed that many of the answers and comments have ...
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  • 6,695
13 votes

Open-source license to prevent commercial use?

There is now a license specifically designed to create source-available software for non-commercial use, namely the Commons Clause License. There have been some very strong characters in the history ...
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13 votes

GPLv2 - licensing for commercial use

Yes, to people to whom you have distributed the binary. No, they can also get it from someone else who has a (presumably paid-for) binary, and lawfully use that copy. Because GPLv2 s3 says "You may ...
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  • 37.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Can someone re-license an adaptation of my CC BY-NC materials under commercial terms?

This interpretation is correct. The share-alike clause in other licenses is only relevant to contributions made by others than the original licensor. In fact, the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license does not grant ...
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  • 236
12 votes

How is selling FLOSS packages for monetary compensation a viable strategy?

To specifically answer the question of what the point of making allowances for people selling free software is, as why anyone would ever want to sell free software; consider, say, a TV. The ...
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  • 221
12 votes
Accepted

Red Hat acquires Ansible - why?

First of all, by acquiring Ansible they not only get the copyright for the software, but most importantly the workforce - the developers who developed the tool. That is much more important than the ...
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  • 10.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Can a free software (as in free speech) be not free (as in free beer)?

What freedoms you provide to a recipient of a piece of software is orthogonal to what price you charge to transfer a copy of that software to someone. The FSF's position on selling free software is: ...
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  • 30.9k
12 votes
Accepted

How do products like MongoDB not violate the GPL licenses?

MongoDB requires contributors to sign a contributor agreement where they have to waive all rights so that MongoDB can license the code subsequently under whatever license they see fit. That includes ...
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  • 8,270
12 votes
Accepted

Preventing commercial exploitation of small changes that require a lot of work

implement the same patches with some minor changes (e.g. replace a for with a while) under their 2-clause BSD license While copyright is based on the implementation of an idea, it is broader than the ...
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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-...
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11 votes

Will there be any restrictions if I use a MIT licensed module which is built on a GPL library in my commercial software?

There is uncertainty about whether or not dynamic linking makes a derivative work and thus engages the GPL (pro, con). But reading the python module's README, it seems to me that the developers have ...
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  • 37.8k
11 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

Actually I think this rule is coming from the ages before internet was available for everyone. Like 29 years ago you could buy a few floppy disks with linux on it. And that the vendor could charge you ...
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  • 211

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