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57 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 ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
55 votes
Accepted

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
54 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
52 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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.8k
50 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Mureinik's user avatar
  • 5,072
47 votes
Accepted

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
45 votes
Accepted

If I can't provide GPL source because a supplier did not provide it, am I at fault?

To add a little to planetmaker's excellent answer: I'm not entirely sure what loophole you think you've discovered, but assuming your contention is that you're released from your obligation to ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
44 votes
Accepted

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
43 votes
Accepted

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
39 votes
Accepted

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
36 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.8k
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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
29 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 ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 1,131
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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
29 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, ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
29 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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
29 votes

If I can't provide GPL source because a supplier did not provide it, am I at fault?

That's a legal question, not an open-source one; the answer depends on jurisdiction and on how you fight legal battles. However in short, you are both, victim and offender. You distribute the software,...
planetmaker's user avatar
29 votes

Does private GPL open source exist? if so, how does it work if mixed with public GPL?

Your first statement is ultimately false. Anyone who receives a copy of GPL'd software must have the right to redistribute it, so we can be sure that second half of statement #1 is false. However, the ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
24 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 - ...
planetmaker's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

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 ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48k
24 votes
Accepted

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.8k
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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.8k
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. ...
planetmaker's user avatar
23 votes

Why it is not possible to create a proprietary fork of GPL?-or-later software?

You say "the copyright holder is the same entity" but this is true only for the changes introduced by the downstream distributor. There is also the upstream distributor who licensed their ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 35.9k
23 votes
Accepted

GPLv3 use in commercially sold embedded system

Considering this is an embedded system and no software/binary is physically handed over to the end user If you have legal ownership of the device, then the software/binary has been handed over to you,...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar

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