33

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 something to some site, you usually give a license to use that material on that site, through the terms and services, or you transfer the copyright to them. If the ...


25

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 which you do not own the copyright. None of your rights are being infringed, so you have no standing to take legal action against the copyright infringement. As a ...


21

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 on). As noted in by ArtOfCode in an answer to a slightly different question section 8 of the GPLv3 provides you with some grace time that allows you fix the ...


16

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 exception for this case or not. The theory is that the owner should deal with their own copyright. If the owner completely ignores you, then after a reasonable ...


16

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 code was ever made. Here is a brief rundown of what happened: Mattel claimed CPHack infringed on the copyright of Cyber Patrol 4, and threatened to sue. The ...


15

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): […] the Original Developer may include […] a requirement that each time an Executable and Source Code or a Larger Work is launched or initially run […] a ...


13

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 happened already and courts enforced open source licenses. Some examples. GPL-Violations The popularity and flexibility of Linux lead to the wide usage of the ...


13

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 is legally authorized to take action to enforce the license. (Violations of the GNU Licenses - GNU.ORG) Copyright Law So only something in base ...


12

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 contract with you. This means you can sue them in a court of law. Depending on how principled you are this may or may not be worth it. Damages rewarded are typically ...


12

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 to the lawyers, as there are a number of things you can do, and also some things to check, to be safe. Is it worth it? Copyright infringement for software is ...


11

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 license and I can choose which of the two to apply when reusing your code.


11

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 source for all modified components; etc. If they have modified or removed your copyright headers, avoided mentioning the contributions, only ship binaries not ...


10

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 license, all you can do is inform the copyright holder about the violation, try to convince the violator, and (as a last resort) communicate more widely about ...


10

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 occurs when someone combines the GPL library with the closed source component and then distributes the result. You haven't done that, so you haven't violated ...


10

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 you can reverse-engineer the code, and show that it has non-trivial code that is exactly like yours, that would help. Whether it would convince a judge and a jury ...


9

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 the source available to those people that they have distributed the binary to. If they have not given you a binary they don't have to give you the source. If ...


8

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 for breach of contract. So a court will not enjoin a disclosure of proprietary source code for violating the terms of an agreement (assuming the license is ...


8

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). Trademark law in most countries is subtly different than copyright or license law, in that trademarks are primarily how end users perceive the name of brand ...


7

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 something that doesn't comply, you should notify the project's author. They can deal with their own restrictions - you don't know if they've made an exception for ...


7

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 the only ones who can do this. Beyond that, there seem to be a number of License Enforcement bodies who are acting on behalf of open source projects. One ...


7

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 not making the source of the binary available. That is a GPL violation. How to enforce they abide to the license terms is a separate question, one that has ...


7

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 offering them under the same xGPL license. Modifications to LGPL-licensed code can be distributed under the GPL, which could block you from receiving modifications ...


6

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, either.


6

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 / remove the stolen information. If they don't, the next step is to gather evidence. Collect proof that your work has been stolen. Hire a lawyer. Assuming the ...


6

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 would not be a legal party if this happened to you, and you would have to cover all of your own legal costs.


6

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 thing you can do is communication: send numerous emails. Always be polite, and start out by realising that they might not be doing it deliberately. So, if you ...


6

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 creation. You will have no visibility into what they do. You may well have someone who uses your code in violation of the license. If you are in the unusual .01%...


6

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 restricted and any copyright lawsuit will become extremely complicated. Next, make sure the "LICENSE" text file for your open source project is not included in ...


6

Congusbongus's answer provides excellent information on what I believe to be the removal and inclusion of a project's logo. However, I want to focus more on another part: changing the logo. This dives a little more into copyright and trademark laws, the latter of which falls out of reign for most popular licenses: they come with no mention, or generally an ...


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