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76

The GNU project was created to produce a free software alternative to Unix. They were able to produce most of the programs an operating system would provide, but their kernel, the GNU Hurd, was not stable enough to rely upon. Linux is a kernel, the most base level of an operating system, and was created and published under the GNU GPL, a free license. It ...


48

Yes, what is being done on that fork is entirely legal. However, you are also allowed to take the useful changes (like the translation) and incorporate them in your own fork. Then you can advertise it as the ad-free version that users might like better.


23

Linux vs. GNU/Linux Terminology and History-in-Brief In common usage, the terms Linux and GNU/Linux IPA: /ɡəˈnuː slæʃ ˈlɪnəks/ † [though often said sans 'slash', the FSF recommendation is to pronounce it] refer to the same thing: the software distribution running on a computer that includes Linux, the operating-system kernel, consisting of low-level ...


18

TL;DR I believe that GNU GPLv3 does not require attribution, [...] Am I correct in my understanding of GPLv3? No, the GPL-3.0 always requires attribution composed at the minimum of a copyright statement, a notice and the GPL license text. Attribution examples are provided at the bottom of the license text. But what is attribution? I consider that ...


16

It's to distinguish GNU/Linux from other operating environments built on Linux. Each of the following environments combines Linux proper, which is a kernel, with a different "userland", or set of userspace programs and libraries. In rough order of appearance: GNU/Linux is a fairly complete clone of the functionality of the UNIX system. Desktop and server ...


13

No, it does not; releasing it under the GNU GPL makes your program free software. The GNU project has a web page outlining what you need to do to offer your software to be part of the GNU project, which might be summarised as follows: Making a program GNU software means that its developers and the GNU project agree that “This program is part of the GNU ...


12

They only list GNU/Linux distributions that follow the GNU FSDG (Free System Distribution Guidelines). That the software (as well as the documentation, fonts etc.) is licensed under an appropriate FSF-approved license is one condition, but it’s not the only one. That’s why even a GNU/Linux distribution that only ships with free/libre software/information ...


12

At the bottom of the page you linked is a link named "why we don't endorse some common distributions" There you will find this text: We're often asked why we don't endorse a particular system—usually a popular GNU/Linux distribution. The short answer to that question is that they don't follow the free system distribution guidelines. But since it isn'...


11

Was the software(before 1970's) released with free source? Well, there was surely software released with and without free source, and lots of machine code software where the distinction was of minor concern, but I guess the point is the majority of software was released without a written license. Moreover, don't forget at that time there was no internet, ...


9

Your question is very unclear and confused, but the simple answer is: before the 1970s, software wasn't copyrightable in the US, so the very idea of "licensing" doesn't apply. You cannot put a copyright license on something that isn't copyrightable. In the US, companies started to argue that computer program source code was protected as a literary work, and ...


8

Firstly, we have already addressed the question of what licence applies to GitHub-hosted content in the absence of a specific licence declaration, and the prevailing (though not the only) opinion seems to be that if you publish your source code in a public repository on GitHub, you have accepted the Terms of Service which do allow other GitHub users some ...


8

IANAL, but I believe this is legal within GPLv3. That is why there exists Affero General Public License (AGPLv3) license. This will force them to share any source code changes if running it on a web server (e.g. if software/scripts not run locally on client).


8

If I download that plugins from another website for free, can I use it for my small business for free legally? The terms and conditions page of WooCommerce states that the products themselves are licensed under the GPLv2 (or later) license. This license gives anyone who obtained a (legal) copy of the software the right to legally re-distribute the software ...


8

The short answer is that, for my money, it's not. I agree with you that for GNU Coreutils, this is a s6d conveyance. I haven't followed the links that start at Docker Hub and flow through GitHub all the way, but I've already found a bunch of build tools, and I suspect they do end up pointing to the actual sources. Whether this chain of frangible links ...


8

It is unfortunately fairly common for companies to overstate the restrictions of the AGPL. But as the AGPL states, additional restrictions can be removed. This answer is primarily based on the GPLv3 CommunityServer license you linked. But aside from the GPLv3 vs AGPLv3 point, the analysis is identical for the AGPLv3-covered DocumentServer which contains the ...


7

They are different terms for the same thing, used by two different groups of people. Use of the GNU/Linux name is done at the explicit request of Richard Stallman and the GNU Project. You can read the full rationale on the GNU Project's website, but it seems to boil down to this: Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the ...


7

You're most certainly allowed to edit it. That's one of the cornerstones of all free and open software. However, you must also make your edited version available as source code under the same terms as the original library. That's one of the cornerstones of copyleft licenses (such as the Lesser GPL). Use the software in a free manner, and in return give any ...


7

I don't think your question admits of an answer better than "you are right, it's not a great idea". But it may help to know you're not the only person who thinks this way. I heard Georg Greve, ex-president of the FSFE, talk about the hardware-trust problem, and possible solutions from the Open Power Foundation, at FOSDEM 2017. We need hardware to run ...


6

Can I use own GNU GPL v3 library in my commercial projects? Yes, as long as you own the rights to your own code, you could license it to other under the GPL for free or commercially for a fee. For instance this is the business model of MySQL. Can I use own GNU GPL v3 library in my commercial projects if some developer modified its sources too? Yes, as you ...


6

This is a lot of questions, and should perhaps be split into several different questions. But I'll answer what I can. We do have other Open source component that we would need to integrate with original GPL software in order to achieve our goal. Is it permissible under GPL If the other licenses are GPL-compatible, yes. You will have to offer them under ...


6

Under the normal circumstances that your question present (i.e. dynamic linking to a library assumed to exist on the user's system and thus not distributed with the program) the following part of the license text will save the day for any program using glibc: A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the Library, but is designed to work ...


6

This is a misunderstanding. The previous paragraphs talk about the requirements for the GPL and LGPL. Since the LGPLv3 is written as the GPL plus a set of extra permissions, you need to include both COPYING for the GPL and COPYING.LESSER for the LGPL additions. In contrast, the AGPL is independent from the GPL and is contained in a single license text. So ...


5

Firstly, and foremost, IANAL/IANYL. That said, as I understand this question, you have been asked by a third party to do some commercial website development, the website to be hosted on drupal, and the work to include some modifications to the drupal system itself (yes, I know you said ... or wordpress, but let's assume a stationary target). According to ...


5

I think your problem is largely equivalent to the licensing of screenshots, and that problem has a definitive answer: A screenshot of the user interface of some software is a derivative work of that software, and is therefore restricted by the license of that software. The GPL does not seem to consider screenshots, but it mentions program output: The ...


5

The license text is legally relevant. The four freedoms form a philosophical fundament for these licenses, but are not part of these licenses. The GPL licenses try to ensure these essential freedoms for all users. For example, the freedom to study the program is ensured because binary distribution of a software is only possible when the corresponding source ...


5

There is no known solution to the “economics of open source” problem. Some projects try to apply more restrictive licenses so that the “correct” maintainers can capture a larger part of the value chain. Yet such licenses are frequently non-free or have other flaws, e.g. see the discussion about the recent SSPL license from MongoDB. Three financing models ...


5

You aren't required to make code public - but you are required to make code and all changes available to anyone that you distribute binaries, etc. to. So supplying source on request of only the people/groups that you have licensed your program to is OK and permissible. Not sure on GPL3, but for GPL2 it is even permissible to have the recipient make a ...


5

Licences don't inhere in software, they attach to software during the act of conveyance. If you received a chunk of code under LGPL, you may use it under those terms regardless of any other licence under which parts of it may have already been published. LGPL normally requires modified versions to be published under LGPL. But as apsillers notes above, ...


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