32 votes
Accepted

Can I "Override" a licensing policy?

It depends. For Stack Exchange: yes. When you write something, you own the copyright, and have the right to do whatever you want with it (from a copyright perspective at least). When you post ...
  • 9,026
30 votes
Accepted

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

If you do not own the copyright on the software whose license is being infringed: It is not up to you to prove there was a GPL violation. It is not up to you to enforce the license of software for ...
  • 31.6k
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 ...
  • 8,805
17 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to stop the removal/modification of my project's logo?

If you are the copyright holder, you are allowed to license however you wish. An example of a license you can use is the Common Public Attribution License, which contains this clause (paraphrased): ...
  • 8,573
16 votes

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

The first step in any legal issues is to notify relevant people. Initially, you should notify the copied project's owner. Since you weren't part of the team, you don't know whether the owner made an ...
  • 8,810
16 votes

Have open source licenses been shut down in court?

Just for the record: Mattel didn't buy CPHack, CPHack was not released under GPL (but under an home-made variation based upon the GPL - a so-called "crayon" license), and no attempt to "unlicense" the ...
  • 8,805
13 votes
Accepted

Are you obliged to enforce your license?

GPL The GPL license doesn't have any specific requirements to make you enforce the license and the copyright holder is the only person who can take any action. The copyright holder is the one who ...
  • 246
13 votes
Accepted

Looking for a legally-strong open source license

You claim most licenses don't carry any legal weight. But I'm not so sure about this being true. Naturally it is hard to say, how good licenses can be enforced in court, until it happens... And it ...
  • 10.9k
12 votes

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

When you release your software under the GPL, it means you give anyone a license to use your software under some terms and agreements. If somebody violates the agreement, they are in breach of ...
  • 9,026
12 votes

Recourse for forks ignoring open source license on original code in App Store?

It certainly sucks when people take your work and use it in ways against your permission, like copying your copyleft work without also sharing their changes. Fortunately you don't have to go straight ...
  • 8,573
11 votes

Can I "Override" a licensing policy?

Yes and no. You can make a claim like that, but it does not override the site policy, it adds to it. In effect, it means that your code is now dual-licensed under both the CC BY-SA and the Apache ...
  • 394
11 votes
Accepted

How can I detect if someone is breaking my license terms?

There may be a number of ways, but there is no guarantee. If you have enough certainty, you could start a legal case and ask for sources to be disclosed. This in fact happened in the SCO case. If ...
11 votes

GPLv3: Re-Release app under different branding

Forking and rebranding is allowed by most open-source licenses as long as they satisfy the terms of the license like: retain your copyright notices; bundle the license; credit the contributors; ship ...
10 votes

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

No, a court will not enjoin a violator of terms of the GPL or other copyleft license to disclose proprietary source code. First of all, as Free Radical pointed out, injunctive relief is not a remedy ...
  • 300
10 votes
Accepted

GPL Violation - What is our legal exposure to third parties (not our contributors)?

If the project does not create and distribute a combined work of the plugin and the closed source host, then I see no realistic liability. This is because you aren't violating the GPL. A violation ...
  • 4,119
10 votes

Someone is violating the copyleft license, they are refusing to give me the source code even though they are required to!

Generally speaking only the copyright holder can instigate legal action in these kinds of circumstances, since they're the party whose license is being violated. So it's not up to you to enforce the ...
  • 4,023
9 votes

Does a reseller of a GPL Licenced Software have to provide source?

To answer the title question, yes the seller of GPL software must make the source available. However, they do not have to make the source available to anyone that asks for it. They only have to make ...
  • 276
9 votes
Accepted

How to protect a project from license infringement, without a CLA?

Everything you want is already possible without a CLA or copyright assignment. inbound=outbound is automatic for GPL-family licenses because it is not allowed to distribute modifications without ...
  • 31.6k
8 votes

GPLv3: Re-Release app under different branding

It depends - on which specific license you're using, exactly how they're using your code, and exactly how they are branding or naming their software product (versus the name of your software product). ...
7 votes

How does one enforce aspects of a license?

Enforcing any restrictions imposed is difficult, and ultimately you may have to bring it to legal proceedings. The first step for any project, yours or someone else's, is to notify: if you spot ...
  • 8,810
7 votes

Someone is violating the copyleft license, they are refusing to give me the source code even though they are required to!

You may have a couple of options The first, as mentioned elsewhere, is to approach the authors of the open source software at issue, and get them to initiate an Intellectual Property suit. They are ...
  • 6,745
7 votes
Accepted

What am I supposed to do if someone is breaking the terms of my licensed software?

This is a difficult position to be in. BUT... Here are some things you can do: Go on the persons website, look for contact information. Email or phone the person and ask them politely to take down /...
7 votes
Accepted

Does a reseller of a GPL Licenced Software have to provide source?

Under the GPL, they are obliged to release the source of the binary or binaries they distribute. As I understand from the comments, they are distributing a binary built from your source, but they are ...
  • 9,026
7 votes
Accepted

Have there been any lawsuits involving breach of open source licences?

Yes, there have been lots of lawsuits involving open source licenses. The GPL is a very popular license and been involved in a large share of that litigation. The result is that open source licenses ...
  • 34.4k
6 votes

Are you obliged to enforce your license?

No. You are not. You hold the copyright, you make up your own mind. The legal concept of adverse possession does not apply to copyright, and so you can't lose your rights by failing to enforce them, ...
  • 4,119
6 votes
Accepted

Are Creative Commons licenses enforceable in the event of a breach?

Yes, there have been several cases where violations of a CC licence have been taken to court, and the rights holders have won. Wikipedia lists just a few. Note that the Creative Commons organisation ...
6 votes

Someone is violating the copyleft license, they are refusing to give me the source code even though they are required to!

Yes there is. Legally challenge them in the courts and force them to back down. Somehow, I suspect this is not the answer you are looking for (reference not intended). Really, the only non-legal ...
  • 8,810
6 votes

How can I detect if someone is breaking my license terms?

Practically speaking, in general, you can't. By 'in general', I mean, 'you are part of the 99.99% of people who post up something with a FLOSS license.' You will have some users scattered all over ...
  • 4,119
6 votes

How can I protect my advanced version based on my open source project?

First of all, make sure that anybody who makes contributions to the open source project assigns copyright to you, or else your ability to use their contributions in the proprietary version will be ...
  • 2,849

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