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
43 votes

Can I publish a GPL source I'm being paid for to develop?

So it seems that you're doing this as a piece of contract work, not under employment rules, so the issue of work-for-hire probably doesn't enter into it. The rules about what you can publish and when ...
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  • 38.8k
37 votes

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

To my knowledge there is no such license. Note that this license may not be considered an open-source license. In no case would such a license be a permissive license that could be compatible with MIT ...
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  • 33.8k
36 votes
Accepted

So the GPL doesn't restrict the creator of the software in any way?

Putting software under the GPL does not mean abandoning ownership? Absolutely not. In nations signatory to the Berne Convention, copyright is the default, which means by default only the author (...
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  • 31.3k
32 votes
Accepted

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

the code or derivative works can never be re-licensed under a GPL/Copyleft license Ironically, I think the best practical strategy to accomplish this is to license your work under a (very weak) ...
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  • 31.3k
31 votes

Need samples of copyleft notices

You are confusing at least two concepts here. Looking at your list of suggestions: "copyleft" is not a license itself, but a property of some licenses which means that any derivative works ...
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26 votes

Can I copy some AGPL code to my AGPL project?

Put simply: yes, this is allowed. The entire point of open source software is to allow it to be re-used. Note that the requirements are slightly more than "citing the original source in a comment&...
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25 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses?

The Free Software Foundation invented the term Copyleft. Here's what they have to say about it: Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free, and requiring all modified and ...
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23 votes

Must a company disclose proprietary source code if it violates a copyleft license?

First, this is not legal advice and there is no definitive answer. But yes, such a company may indeed be forced to publish its proprietary code in order to comply with the license (or it may not, read ...
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  • 8,705
23 votes
Accepted

Do you violate the GPL if you provide source code that cannot be compiled?

IANAL, but I believe the answer is yes, you violate GPL. If you distribute binaries, then GPL requires that you also distribute all the files necessary to rebuild that same binary, and to make ...
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  • 8,533
23 votes

I was told by a vendor who licenses their paid software under GPL v2 that I cannot include the software inside my framework. How so?

Assuming that the original work was distributed under the GNU GPLv2, and that you have made a work which is a derivative of it (in copyright terms), you may redistribute your derivative work subject ...
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  • 38.8k
23 votes

Can I publish a GPL source I'm being paid for to develop?

This depends on the contracts for this development effort. The GPLv3 explicitly covers the case that you are doing development exclusively for someone else, and this is OK (section 2, basic ...
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  • 33.8k
21 votes
Accepted

What are software dependencies, and what are the implications of FLOSS dependencies for other projects?

Software dependencies: A not-too-technical introduction Summary Programs depend on other programs, often with many deep levels of indirection. Million of packaged FLOSS programs are available through ...
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21 votes
Accepted

Quoting GPL licensed text in presentation slides

The Berne Convention on copyright specifies the Right to Quote as an exception to copyright. Article 10 (1) It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made ...
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20 votes

Using an unmodified GPL library in non-copyleft code

As a add-on answer to amend what @amon explained in his answer: That is the point of releasing a library under GPL: Any program which wants to make use of it also needs to be distributed under terms ...
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  • 8,460
19 votes
Accepted

What is copyleft?

Copyleft is actually a term coined by Richard Stallman (also called RMS) who is the pioneer of the Free Software Movement which ultimately resulted in today's world where people take using FOSS ...
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19 votes

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

If you release your code under a permissive license, it is not possible for anyone to "relicense" it under a less permissive one like the GPL. By issuing a permissive license, you grant everyone the ...
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19 votes

Can I copy some AGPL code to my AGPL project?

As Philip wrote: Yes, that's possible (subject to certain conditions, which I won't repeat here). Do note, though, that this will make it harder for Bob to re-license his code with a different license ...
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  • 291
17 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

While the position of the FSF about the interpretation of the GPL is clear, a few people have opposed this position. Linus' position that is cited in the OP is, that all combined parts must be ...
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16 votes
Accepted

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

In the large majority of cases, the software of a program and the artwork used by a program are not related to each other where copyright is concerned. An exception might be an image that was created ...
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16 votes

Is there a good license for a libertarian programmer who's against intellectual property?

Anyone may use the software for any purpose they choose ... However, no one may place any type of restrictions on my software Your basic problem is that these are self-contradictory aims. In the ...
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  • 38.8k
14 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

This pair of questions (whether dynamic linking creates a derivative or not) is really a false dichotomy. I think Linus Torvalds is spot on when he says (quoted in the question): So "linking" ...
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  • 8,705
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

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

You only need to share the image under CC-BY-SA. This means your project will be multi-licensed. The important part is that only the image is currently under BY-SA. Since the only requirement of the ...
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  • 8,770
13 votes

Appropriate licence for later merging back

I want to provide a commercial license for somebody who is willing to pay on top of open source one (LGPL allows it, right?) As a copyright holder you always have the option to dual license your ...
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13 votes

Will adding a BY-SA image to a blog post make the entire post BY-SA?

The CC ShareAlike terms merely say that whenever you do make a derivative work of the image, distribution of that derivative work must be under ShareAlike (or CC-approved ShareAlike-compatible) terms. ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Does whole project need to be under GPLv3 when using a GPLv3 library

Yes: The GPL doesn't just extend to that particular component but to the entire program that includes GPL components. So if you publish your app, you will have to publish your app as a whole under the ...
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  • 33.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Will copyleft help me control what others are able to do with my code?

Any OSI or FSF approved open source license does not allow to put restrictions on who can use the software and for what purpose. The FSF calls these the essential freedoms 0 and 1: The freedom ...
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  • 11.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Does a host application's license apply to plug-ins written for it?

Maybe. Yes, you have to comply with the terms of the host application's license. However, a copyleft platform can choose to go either way. Some copyleft applications have a specific licensing ...
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  • 4,119
11 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links to constitute derivative works?

Well, it basically boils down to what is understood as a derivate. A program that dynamically links a library is a derivate in this point of view, because it as a whole delivers the product function ...
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  • 10.8k

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