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55 votes

Is GPL "for research purposes only" self-contradictory?

Basically yes to everything you say, although politically it may get complicated. Section 10 of the GPL v3 forbids any further restrictions your rights under the license: You may not impose any ...
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55 votes
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Can I ignore an open source license if I checkout a version that was released prior to the code having any license?

Generally speaking, a licence grant is not revocable once it has been relied on. Once an author has published a piece of code under a licence, and someone has taken a copy on that basis, the author ...
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52 votes
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Do I have to change license of fork if mainstream changes license?

Not only are you not required to change the licence, you are not permitted to. The code you took at the time was, according to you, conveyed under GPLv3. You've worked on it, and made a derivative ...
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51 votes
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Can others monetize my project with GPLv3?

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 ...
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51 votes

Can I use my own GPL'ed code in my closed source program?

You can freely issue additional licenses to your own GPL software, without restriction. Licenses can either give an exclusive or non-exclusive right. For example, an employment contract will ...
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47 votes
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What exactly is Tivoization and why didn't Linus Torvalds like it in GPLv3?

Tivolization, named after TiVo that widely used it, is a practice of devices running free software, but placing restrictions (such as digital signatures) that block running modified versions of the ...
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  • 3,767
47 votes
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Can an NDA block GPL freedom number 4?

The FSF believes, in the jurisdictions they have considered, that the transfer of GPL-licensed software by an employer to an employee, for the fulfillment of their responsibilities as an agent of the ...
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  • 30.9k
44 votes
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Is it legal for the author of an open source project to remove history of contributors' commits?

Nearly all free software licences require the preservation of existing copyright notices. If the author of a piece of GPLv3 software accepted your modified version, then since this code had to be ...
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  • 37.8k
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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  • 37.8k
41 votes
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Minified GPL code inside Javascript webapp

Argument #2 has credibility, depending on many factors. The other two arguments you present in your question are not correct. Dealing with arguments #1 and #3 first: In the poster's own words, the GPL ...
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  • 30.9k
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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  • 30.9k
34 votes
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Embedding GPL code in proprietary software

When your code contains (or links to) GPL licensed code, then the GPL license requires that you distribute your application under the GPL license. The GPL does not require that you distribute your ...
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30 votes

If an employee modifies a copy of a GPLv3-licensed open source library, is the modified copy intellectual property of the company?

If an employee makes a modified copy of a GPLv3-licensed open source library on the job, is that modified copy property of the employer? No. But the modifications are their property, in most ...
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30 votes
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Choosing the most restrictive open-source license

There is no free software / open source license that will satisfy your requirements. These licenses generally focus on the freedoms of end users, they are not trying to restrict anyone. The freedom to ...
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  • 33.2k
29 votes

Use GPLv3 library in a closed system (no software distribution)

The premiss of your question is faulty, at least so far as the title. You are selling a widget (in this case, a thermostat) which contains the binaries of Ubuntu Server and other pieces of free ...
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  • 37.8k
29 votes
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Changing my own non-software project from GPLv3 to CC BY-SA

You have accepted two other small commits to this project, but apart from those you are the sole rightsholder in your work. Moreover, although IANAL/IANYL, because the two commits simply correct the ...
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  • 37.8k
28 votes
Accepted

If I'm using a GPL 3 library in my project, can I license my project under MIT license?

No; incorporating or linking against GPL requires that your project-as-a-whole be distributed under GPL. But you can include MIT licensed parts (or another GPL-compatible license) in the project. Also,...
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  • 8,463
28 votes

Is GPL "for research purposes only" self-contradictory?

Searching for the term "GPL for research purposes only" shows a number of hits that shed a somewhat different light on the matter. It seems that there is quite a bit of GPL'ed software in the ...
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  • 1,083
28 votes

Minified GPL code inside Javascript webapp

It’s certainly not correct to claim minified JavaScript is source code. The GPL (both version 2 and 3) defines ‘source code’ as the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. It ...
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27 votes

Is it possible to change the current GPLv3 license to something else?

Anyone who received the code under the GPLv3 can redistribute it under those terms forever (and so, too, may those recipients, etc.) so if the set of recipients of your code so far is a nonempty set, ...
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  • 30.9k
25 votes
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Using GPL code in an application that is offered to a single client as source code

When you acquire a GPL license for this product, build upon it, make a product, and transfer it to your client, there can be two scenarios, and in neither case it is a problem. In the first case, you ...
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  • 8,986
24 votes
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Does "open source" always mean "open access"?

Is my understanding correct, or there is a nuance I do miss? There may be several, but this one is important: free software grants freedom, but not to everyone. The four freedoms are granted to all ...
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  • 37.8k
23 votes

Can I ignore an open source license if I checkout a version that was released prior to the code having any license?

With licenses it is actually quite simple: No license means no rights to you to even use the code for whatever purpose. Code being available somewhere for download doesn't imply any right to use it - ...
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  • 8,270
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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  • 33.2k
23 votes
Accepted

Can I share a cracked version of a program originally under GPL v3?

The GPL allows any use, including commercial use. And the author or distributor is not required to provide sources to anyone, but only to those which he distributed to the programme in binary form. ...
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  • 8,270
23 votes
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GPLv3: "Provide source at no further charge" - is dual licencing a loophole?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to dual-license under GPL and proprietary terms, and to charge more for the GPL terms. This is hardly a loophole. In that scenario, the licensor could also decide to ...
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  • 33.2k
22 votes

Distribute program with GPLv3 but need a subscription - How can this be made possible?

It is perfectly permissible to distribute under GPLv3 software for using a service, access to which is restricted to registered, or even paying, users. Scrolling down my Android phone, the first ...
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  • 37.8k
21 votes
Accepted

What are the licensing terms of the text of the GPL?

The sentence at the top of the GPL, "...changing it is not allowed," does not give you permission to make a derived license from the text of the GPL. However, the FSF's GPL FAQ item on ...
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  • 30.9k
21 votes
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Does GPLv3 require attribution?

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 ...
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21 votes
Accepted

Can I insist on GPL version 3.0 terms when requesting GPL code from an embedded manufacturer?

The GPL is an offer made by the original authors to the manufacturer of the device, and it is also an offer made by the manufacturer of the device to you. The latter offer is no coincidence; it was a ...
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