Hot answers tagged

75

When talking about BSD license, you have to be aware that there is not one, but actually four different BSD licenses. The most basic is the zero-clause BSD license which is a public domain license which doesn't even require attribution: Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted. ...


48

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 ...


39

International trademarks can be searched online in the WIPO Global Brand Database. “open source” is trademarked in some areas, none relevant for software OSI holds a US trademark for “Open Source Initiative Approved License”, but no trademark for “open source” by itself So from a legal perspective, anyone could use this term. But from an open source ...


26

The OSI failed to secure a trademark on "open source" in 1999, and the term remains not trademarked. You may use "open source" to mean virtually anything you want, without legal ramifications, but to use it in a way that contravenes the OSI's definition may put you at significant social disadvantage with anyone who enjoys the culturally consistent ...


17

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 ...


15

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 ...


8

The practice of selling exceptions to the GPL is perfectly commonplace, but you must either be the sole copyright holder, or else have prior permission from all other copyright holders. In order to achieve the latter, you must have other contributors agree to a contributor licensing agreement (CLA) that allows you, specifically, to offer that contributor's ...


7

The MIT license is very permissive; you are allowed to release your own work under a different license if it was based on something released under the MIT license. See also this answer on Software Engineering SE and the plain English explanation of the MIT license (link also provided in the linked answer). As indicated in the plain English explanation, you ...


7

I must admit that the phrasing of the question is a bit unclear, at least to me. I am assuming you meant something in the spirit of "Can I use a license that isn't listed on choosealicense.com, and thus isn't recognized by GitHub, when I host my project there?" If my understanding of the question is correct, the answer would be a resounding yes. As the ...


6

I think I read somewhere that if you modify the source of a software enough, you become the owner ("author") of that source. First I'd like to make sure that this is correct. It isn't. If you make enough changes to a copyrighted work to yourself qualify for copyright protection, then both you and the original rightsholder now have a copyright interest ...


6

If I understand correctly, what you're concerned about is that other people will take your free software, change it in a way that makes it unreliable, and either convey it or provide it as a service to unsuspecting end-users who then assume it works just like the software they know you wrote. This is a question of brand identity, scientific implications ...


6

In general, no: once you've published your idea (whether as open source or not), it becomes part of the "prior art" and is no longer eligible to be patented. Patents are for innovation, and almost by definition something can't be innovative if it's just taking someone else's idea.


5

There is no Open Source licence. see extract from definition https://opensource.org/osd Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software. However did you know that this does not mean that people have permission to edit your ...


5

If the MIT license has been modified, that is no longer the MIT license but some custom license. Using such a custom license may or may not be fine, although terms that limit its use might no longer be open source. It is perfectly fine though to modify the MIT license. The MIT license text is not protected in any way. It is also possible to distribute MIT-...


5

That would be a resounding "no". The licensing of any data file protected by copyright is completely up to the copyright's author, and he or she may bot may not choose to license these files under some permissive license. The fact that the tool used to download it was licensed under some particular license is completely inconsequential.


5

The product seems to comprise two elements: the API Gateway, and the Dashboard/Portal, which is a web-based management interface for your API Gateways. According to their front page: The Tyk Open Source API Gateway has no restrictions and is Open Source in the truest sense of the world. Tyk Dashboard and portal is free for developers, nothing is ...


4

Github's ToS codify the inbound=outbound license principle: contributions to a repository can be assumed to be under the repository's license. However: The repository needs to have an obvious license. The user must have intended for their contributions to be included into the repository, for example by creating a pull request and/or uploading their changes ...


4

If a piece of software (be it a library or something else) does not specify a copyright license, then you must assume that the default "license" of "all rights reserved" applies. This means that technically you are not allowed to make copies of the software, which also means you would not be allowed to install it. If such a software package is made ...


4

Besides the trademark protection that is explained in the answer from @MadHatter, the (A)GPL license also allows you to place certain additional terms. One of those allowed additional terms is c) Prohibiting misrepresentation of the origin of that material, or requiring that modified versions of such material be marked in reasonable ways as different ...


4

Do not invent your own copyright notices, just use the one displayed by the software in question. This would typically be what you refer to as the “build year”. When writing a copyright notice, the year should be the year of publication for this version – neither the current year, nor the year of writing. For some aspects of copyright, the year of first ...


4

1 - You could go back to closed source ... IF you did not accept any code from others under the terms of your Free-license-of-choice. You could also refuse to accept code contributions without an accompanying assignment of copyright, but that will just get your software fork()ed (see Open/Libre Office for an example, or MySQL and how MariaDB came about). ...


4

We have a question here from someone who is opposed to the current idea of copyright and wanted a license (s)he could combine with ordinary copyright to simulate the effects of his/her view of how copyright should work. It wasn't really possible to satisfy him/her, because of an underlying problem: when you take a system designed to achieve certain ends ...


4

Yes, you can change the files in any way you wish. There is only one condition for redistributing code licensed under the MIT license: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. In particular, there is no requirement that you include the notices in a particular file or at ...


3

Is it possible at this point to simply open-source your software to accelerate the development of the product and later on close source it, or some kind of arrangement where you allow others to partake but still retain ownership of the software? Yes, this is possible, but you have to make sure all contributors abstain from their rights - which can actually ...


3

Before going too far, I suggest you review the license for the library you are using. Sometimes these licenses impose restrictions on how they can be used with open source. For example, a library may say you can't use it with GPL projects. Even if the license doesn't impose any restrictions, I recommend you look at a permissive license (like MIT or Apache ...


3

Firstly, welcome to OpenSource.SE, and thanks for a very nicely-written first question. I'm aware that not everyone likes it, but it gets a +1 from me. Your basic problem is that free licences are incompatible with restrictions on commercial use. The issue is discussed here, in other OS.SE questions, and in the GPL FAQ, but it boils down to the idea that ...


2

Question 1 If the client application and the server application are in different repositories, both can have any type of license that will be compatible because the communication of the applications in a web service is through the network. Different happens when using code we import libraries from external repositories, where before using a repository you ...


2

First, you need to determine if what you want to do would make it non-Open Source or non-Free Software. Fortunately, the Open Source Definition has you covered, specifically item #4, key part italicized - From https://opensource.org/osd Integrity of The Author's Source Code - The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form ...


2

Licensing decisions on code are largely up to the code's developer. Some free software developers love the effortless re-usability that non-copyleft licences give, others love the feeling that they're contributing to an open community that the copyleft licences give. Although I have my preferences about which should be used, it's really up to the people ...


2

IANAL/IANYL, but your presumption is wrong; the output of a program is not generally subject to the licence of the program. Instead, the output data are generally considered a derivative of the input data. So in this case, as long as the input data aren't subject to any kind of restrictive licence, you should indeed be able to download a copy of the Apache-...


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