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68 votes
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Why does GPLv2 include a mailing address (51 Franklin Street) in the license notice?

It may help to remember that version 2 of the GNU GPL was published in June 1991. According to Wikipedia, only 11% of people in the developed world had internet access in 1997, and I can assure you ...
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53 votes
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Am I legally required to provide a (GPL licensed) source code even after a project is abandoned?

The GPL gives you a few options for how to distribute source code. Typically, you distribute source at the time you distribute the binary. However, section 3(b) of the GPLv2 allows you to distribute a ...
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47 votes
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Is illegally obtained GPLv2 software still subject to the terms and conditions of the GPL?

The Free Software Foundation thinks not. From the GPL FAQ: If someone steals a CD containing a version of a GPL-covered program, does the GPL give the thief the right to redistribute that version? ...
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39 votes
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Is keeping the forking link on a true fork necessary? (Github/GPL)

There is no requirement whatsoever in any version of the GPL to maintain a reference to some upstream project. Imagine if you use substantial code from multiple GPL-licensed projects: the GitHub ...
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34 votes

Is illegally obtained GPLv2 software still subject to the terms and conditions of the GPL?

The usual caveat: IANAL/IANYL. That said, a statement of intent is not usually considered a binding undertaking, and stolen goods are stolen goods. A licence does not inhere in software, it is ...
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28 votes
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Am I allowed to convert some functions from a GPLv2 project and use it in a commercial project?

tl;dr: maybe illegal, trending towards probably illegal. Almost certainly too high a risk for a sensible company to take on. First things first: open sources licenses allow for commercial use so you ...
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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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21 votes
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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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17 votes
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Can I get paid to make code that includes GPLv2 libraries?

If by I've been asked to make an application you mean that you were hired to create an application, the answer to your question depends on the contract you have with your employer (if you work for a ...
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16 votes
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Can I link a Apache 2.0 library into software under GPLv2?

(Here's my best guess. This is obviously a very hairy problem to work through, and I've tried my best to reduce the problem down to basic principles. However, I may gotten some of those basic ...
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16 votes

Is illegally obtained GPLv2 software still subject to the terms and conditions of the GPL?

I think the problem here is at a more fundamental level than the GPL. The GPL does not force you to publish your code under the GPL. It is still the right of the copyright holder to decide whether ...
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16 votes
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Why GitHub is not opensource when it's use Git that has GPLv2 license?

The GPL does not forbid you from using GPL'ed software. It requires something far more specific: if you modify the GPL'ed software and publish your modifications, then you can only publish under the ...
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16 votes

Are pictures of GPL software GPL?

The question you need to be asking here is whether the picture/screen recording is a derivative work of the copyrighted material or not. In general, the answer to this is "no" (and this is independent ...
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16 votes

If you distribute GPL-code as non-GPL, can the receiver redistribute it as GPL?

GPLv2 is clear about this: I have to release the whole program as GPLv2 if I want to distribute it. That would be the FSF's position, at least. It is clear that if I don't, I am subject to lawsuits ...
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14 votes
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What are the differences between GPL V2 and V3 licenses?

This question was already asked on Stackoverflow in 2008 (but closed as off-topic there). This is a copy of the answer by Will M: Here is a short list of some the major differences: ...
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13 votes

Is it allowed to dynamically link a GPL licensed library for commercial use?

The jury is still out on this one. The traditional interpretation, and the one intended by the Free Software Foundation(FSF, publishers of the GPL), is that no, you can't do this. This position seems ...
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  • 9,006
13 votes

How do I upgrade from GPLv2 to GPLv3?

If it is your program (and not a derivative of somebody else's program, or something that a lot of other people has contributed to), you have the full right to do whatever you like. So just create a ...
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  • 8,705
13 votes
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Can I distribute unmodified GPLv2 binaries without the source code?

This is covered in section 3 of the GPL, version 2: You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of ...
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  • 4,003
13 votes

GPLv2 - licensing for commercial use

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 ...
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13 votes
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Is it possible to migrate old GPL2 project to GPL3?

No, the GPLv2 is incompatible with the GPLv3. The FSF says of v2 and v3 compatibility: Please note that GPLv2 is, by itself, not compatible with GPLv3. However, most software released under GPLv2 ...
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12 votes

How do I upgrade from GPLv2 to GPLv3?

The other answers are good but don't acknowledge another consideration that bears mentioning: You state in your question you've written a program, but if you've ever assimilated contributions from ...
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12 votes
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Is it legal to charge for distributing the source of a software which uses GPLv2 components?

Yes. The terms are described in the GPLv2 license (emphasis mine): You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the ...
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12 votes

Can I get paid to make code that includes GPLv2 libraries?

Just adding another take on the question, hopefully to complement D. SM's excellent answer. You say that you're writing an application and you want to use a GPLv2 library in it. You fully understand ...
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12 votes
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Reusing test input files from GPLv2 project for automated testing

As I understand it, you choose these files because they they contain the characteristics you want to test against and they are conveniently already available. But otherwise, you could use any file at ...
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11 votes

Is database migration script covered by GPL?

That's fine. You receive the binary and the code under GPL. So you have the source code for the software you use and are allowed to make whatever modifications you desire. The license does not make ...
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11 votes
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Can I convert an Apache 2.0 project to GPLv2

Unlike the BSD, MIT, and ISC licenses, the Apache 2.0 license is not compatible with the GPLv2. From the Apache Software Foundation: Despite our best efforts, the FSF has never considered the Apache ...
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10 votes

How do I upgrade from GPLv2 to GPLv3?

Another important consideration is whether you have accepted any contributions from other people into your project. If anyone has submitted a pull request, and you have pulled in their changes (...
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10 votes

Could a license that allows later versions impose obligations or remove protections for licensors in the future?

There is some risk, but perhaps not as much as you think. Hypothetically, let's say the FSF release v4 of the "GNU GPL" which has identical wording to the MIT License. At this point, it is ...
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9 votes
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Is an 'un-modifiable' linux a violation of GPLv2?

One of the main differences between GPLv2 and GPLv3 is the so called "anti Tivoization clause", meant to prevent "Tivoization". From https://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.en.html: ...
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9 votes
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Is it legal to Bundle OpenJDK + HotSpot with a closed source application?

To the best of my knowledge Hotspot and most of the JVM code (mostly C/C++ native code) in the OpenJDK is released under the GPL 2.0 with Assembly Exception and not a "bare" GPL. This is in ...
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