33

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 make changes to the software and want to distribute it, it must be distributed with full source code, on the same license terms as the original software. Also if ...


30

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 version of the software delivered to them directly from by the primary source, (the company that authored the software), instead of shopping around for a cheaper ...


26

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 open source software may seem pointless, because once the author has sold it to someone, they can't prevent the buyer from making as many copies as they like and ...


21

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 of your modifications available - which some insists is a "restriction". Without going into that debate, please see the GNU GPL FAQ on internal distribution. ...


21

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. On the other hand, if the writer of the software (or skilled contributors) would like to make money doing what they are great at, and people want to pay them, ...


18

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 Discrimination Against Persons or Groups" and "No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor". From a legal point of view, software covered by any of the many ...


14

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 legally use a song under a CC No Derivative Works license in your video. This corresponds to the "synchronization" provision in section 1(a) of CC-BY-SA 3.0 (...


13

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 means that your derivative work must also be licensed under the GPL3, so you must make your source code available etc. Or, you can buy a commercial license ...


13

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 copy and distribute the Program ... in object code or executable form" someone who gets the software from you has the right to copy it for their friends, and ...


12

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 raised a concern over distributing the software within the corporation, and its subsidiaries, etc. For example, in this answer, Tomasz states: However be ...


12

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 software in question. So they can in future control the direction the software takes and also use these developers in other projects if needed or useful. Also as ...


12

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: Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and ...


11

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 manufacturers want a whole load of shiny features that connect to the internet, etc., so they decide to base the software on a fully-featured free operating system, along ...


10

These licenses are very suitable for use in a corporate environment. The licenses used by GNU are the Free Software Foundation family of licenses: GPL, LGPL and AGPL. These licenses have the restriction that you are obliged to include the source code and release your software under the same license if you distribute the softeware. If you don't distribute ...


10

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 ...


9

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 you the right to sub-license the original work at all, as shown in section 2(a)(1) (emphasis mine): Subject to the terms and conditions of this Public ...


9

You are correct, selling FOSS packages for money is generally a bad idea: someone else will come along, promoting their free distribution, and take all your customers away. This is not a very viable business strategy. However, what you can do is sell peripherals: little extra bits that nobody else has, that people will think are worthwhile paying for. This ...


9

One of the problems with CC NC is that when you say "I am not sure what "Commercial purposes" are", you are not alone in that. The relevant clause in CC BY-NC 3.0 reads You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary ...


9

Unless I've completely misunderstood the question, that would be violating two of the Creative Commons license's restrictions: That it can only be used in non-commercial contexts That any derivative works be licensed under the same license I really don't know how you thought you could use CharacterController2D in a commercial closed-source app! That's the ...


9

Can I recode wordpress or another CMS and then sell it as my own? recode for specific purposes. I'm going to remove needless code, add my own and customize CMS for myself As long as the license allows it yes. The Wordpress license is the GPL-2.0. The GPL allows modification, redistribution and commercialization all right. But it also has some obligations ...


8

The CC NC clause is really hard to get a grasp on, and Creative Commons do not provide much guidance about it. There certainly exists a lot of examples where it is not possible to give a straightforward about exactly what is commercial use. For an example of such a situation, see my answer to this question: Using CC-NC material inside a freemium app. That ...


8

You write, 'cost of change to ...'. Change has cost. People have to do work. Changing between Linux and FreeBSD would also be costly for a large infrastructure. The developers of the open source alternative may not have chosen to build facilities that assist in the deployment and management of large numbers of systems -- features that Windows might have. ...


8

Distributing images alongside text creates a combined work, but not a derivative work, and your images are not bound by the CC BY-SA requirements. Allowing the distributing of books of CC BY-SA licensed text is very much the intention of the license, and expressly legal. You are correct that the license mandates your text is available under CC BY-SA as well....


8

Is what they are doing legal? It certainly seems that way. The phrase "open source" is just a pair of words. Anyone can use the phrase to refer to some kind of "source" that is "open" in some respect. The Open Source Initiative wrote the Open Source Definition (OSD), which is what most people mean when they say "open source". However, "open source" is not ...


8

The paragraph you quoted is only about the patent grant, this is mostly unrelated to copyright issues. You cannot dual-license the project without obtaining permission from all contributors, because you are no longer the sole copyright owner. What happened is this: You created a project. As you wrote everything, you were the sole copyright holder. You ...


8

They are also planning to change the licensing of the project, or make it dual-license. Unless you have signed a CLA or assigned the copyright of your contributions in some way, they cannot legally do either of these options. You are the copyright holder of your contributions, and therefore you, and only you, get to say which license or licenses they are ...


7

Another way to earn money for developing FLOSS is by getting paid by companies that stand to benefit from it. One example is IBM. IBM is in the server business and it is in their interest to have a free, reliable and powerful OS to run on their systems. Therefore it made sense for IBM to pay people to develop a fork of Linux for their own servers as well as ...


7

Coming from a background in open-source, your model is not that reliable. In general, open-source licenses must comply with the open-source definition, in particular sections 5 and 6: 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons. 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of ...


7

Fortunately, this is not a tricky case at all. You are not in any way bound by any terms in the GPL if you are not distributing software that is licensed to you under the GPL. Neither you nor your users are distributing software licensed to them under the GPL. Your users are always free to use free software in any way they like. The GPL doesn't forbid - in ...


7

The AGPL licenses of GhostScript and iTextSharp require your application to be licensed under the AGPL as well. This allows options 1 and 2. Option 3 is simply impossible without the expensive commercial iTextSharp license. You can't Open Source your whole application for the reason you already mentioned, you don't own all the IP. In the end, the problem ...


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