Hot answers tagged

55

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 further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License. "For research purposes only" is exactly the sort of term this is ...


54

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 cannot retrospectively revoke that licence. If that licence permitted the recipient to make further copies, as free licences do, then you can get a copy from ...


51

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 typically give the employer exclusive rights to whatever the employee produces as part of their work. But the GPL is non-exclusive, thus allowing multiple licenses for ...


51

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 work (in copyright terms), which you can only lawfully distribute under GPLv3 (see GPLv3 s5c). Note also that now upstream have relicensed, you cannot trivially ...


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.


41

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 come entirely out of the contract between you and the payer, and apparently that's not written yet. That's great news. A good contract sets out each side's ...


40

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 website only allows one "upstream" pointer anyway. GitHub's upstream link is only a helpful reference and is unrelated to any license requirements.


39

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 software on the device. An argument can be made (as Richard Stallman actually did), that such a device could redistribute the source code of the GPLed software ...


34

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 application to the general public. It is entirely legal to sell the application to select customers only, and you only have to distribute your source code only to ...


30

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 countries, either under the local equivalent of the work for hire doctrine, or through a specific provision of the employee's contract. At that point, the new work's ...


29

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 software, these all being covered by a variety of free licences. This is distribution, plain and simple. For any software you are distributing, whether yours or ...


28

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 academic medical world. Such software is generally not approved for regular medical use by the regulating agencies. Even if it was, any modification would render the ...


26

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, you may not be able to stop future redistribution of your past code under GPLv3 terms. If no one has downloaded your code, or if anyone who downloaded it didn't ...


25

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 write the software as work for hire and transfer the copyright to your client. In that case, there was never any distribution as meant in the GPL. Effectively ...


23

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, it depends. The pertinent clause is 5 (c): c) You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a ...


23

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 - similar as you don't have the right to harvest a field, just because you can enter it from the street. If there is a license that specifies the conditions ...


23

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 legitimate users of the software. It is perfectly OK for some organisation to sell you a copy of executable software under GPLv3. Having done so, they must ...


22

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 permissions): You may convey covered works to others for the sole purpose of having them make modifications exclusively for you, or provide you with facilities for ...


21

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 result of the company accepting the first offer. The problem for you is that the company's obligations follow from the first contract, and that offer said "...


20

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 modifying the GPL does give you that permission (emphasis mine): Can I modify the GPL and make a modified license? It is possible to make modified versions of the ...


20

That depends. If you didn't make any changes in your fork of the project, you can just update your fork to include the latest upstream changes and get the license change along with it. If the copyrights on the changes made on your fork are all owned by you, and you agree with re-licensing those changes under the MIT license, then you can merge the upstream ...


19

You have a misconception here. You're thinking that licenses take away your right to use a piece of code. In fact, licenses give you the right to use a piece of code. If there's no license, you can't use it. The exception is fair use: if you want to use the code in a way which is fair use, then that is permitted, whether or not there's a license. But if you ...


18

Stack Overflow contributions (and all of Stack Exchange's too) are licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0. That basically means that You are free to Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow ...


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 ...


17

Is this legal to ask people to fill in a regular registration form in order to download the code? Absolutely. You can even require people to pay money to download GPL'ed software. What you can't do is to stop them redistributing it afterwards (provided they do so under the GPL). So while you may be able to record the people who downloaded it from you, ...


15

Short answer: No. The Java (JRE and JDK) binaries provided by Oracle come so many strings attached that they are practically unfit for any usage or redistribution with proprietary or open source-licensed software including GPL-licensed software. The only sane alternative is to consider the OpenJDK which is using a combo of licenses and is primarily under ...


14

Yes, you can use a GPL3 library [1] in an AGPL3 program [2]. You can also cut-and-paste GPL3 code into an AGPL3 program. Both the ordinary GNU GPL, version 3, and the GNU Affero GPL have text allowing you to link together modules under these two licenses in one program. (from https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-affero-gpl.html ) Obviously, you should make ...


14

The code is a derived work of the grammar. (but not of ANTLR) The Grammar file is a description of how to parse the language, written in EBNF. The source code generated by ANTLR etc is a description of how to parse the language, written in Java (etc). The source code was derived from the Grammar, using ANTLR. It is thus a derived work, of the Grammar (but ...


14

IANAL/TINLA: Proceed at your own risk. Yes. According to the GPL FAQ, it states here two things: I would like to release a program I wrote under the GNU GPL, but I would like to use the same code in nonfree programs. To release a nonfree program is always ethically tainted, but legally there is no obstacle to your doing this. If you are the copyright ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible