125 votes
Accepted

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

This is a great question and speaks to a lot of confusion about the GPL. The answer is mostly “yes” here, but since the GPL is frequently seen as very scary, it is important to understand why this is ...
user avatar
  • 1,636
43 votes

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

Generally yes, the output is not covered by the license. However you say you will redistribute the virtual machine with the pipeline setup. Nope, providing the virtual machine with executable ...
user avatar
  • 679
19 votes
Accepted

Am I in danger if a project component is relicensed?

The important thing to know is that they (almost certainly (*)) cannot retroactively change the license of the version that you are using. They can change the license to new versions they release. So, ...
user avatar
  • 4,109
16 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

While the position of the FSF about the interpretation of the GPL is clear, a few people have opposed this position. Linus' position that is cited in the OP is, that all combined parts must be ...
user avatar
  • 10.8k
16 votes
Accepted

Calling GPL'd programs from a shell script

The GPL is generally interpreted in a manner that licensing your scripts under the GPL would not be required. The GPLv3 states that you have to license your code under the GPL if it were a “work ...
user avatar
  • 33k
14 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

This pair of questions (whether dynamic linking creates a derivative or not) is really a false dichotomy. I think Linus Torvalds is spot on when he says (quoted in the question): So "linking" ...
user avatar
  • 8,605
14 votes

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

Distributing the Virtual Machine with the GPL-including-Software and not providing the sources (and/or the possibility to download/receive them) along with a GPL License notice is clearly a violation ...
user avatar
  • 276
12 votes

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

There is an exact duplicate of this question here on Programmers.SE. Yes, your understanding is correct. According to GPL, having a program run entirely on a server and accessing its output from a ...
user avatar
  • 8,415
12 votes

Do I have to release my code as GPL when a Java Library is GPL

Yes, your program must also be GPL. GPL is quite clear on this matter: if your program links to a GPL library, no matter the type of linking, then your program also comes under the GPL (when you ...
user avatar
  • 8,415
12 votes

Is use of CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 library in open source project a derivative work?

Does using a library already constitute a derivative work, meaning I would not be allowed to do that? Merely using an unmodified library would generally not be considered creating a derivative work ...
user avatar
11 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links to constitute derivative works?

Well, it basically boils down to what is understood as a derivate. A program that dynamically links a library is a derivate in this point of view, because it as a whole delivers the product function ...
user avatar
  • 10.8k
11 votes
Accepted

What happens if I stop using a GPL library?

This depends on who you accepted contributions from while the code is under the GPL license. If you didn't accept contributions from others and you are the sole copyright holder, then you can change ...
user avatar
11 votes

Will there be any restrictions if I use a MIT licensed module which is built on a GPL library in my commercial software?

There is uncertainty about whether or not dynamic linking makes a derivative work and thus engages the GPL (pro, con). But reading the python module's README, it seems to me that the developers have ...
user avatar
  • 37.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Can I use a proprietary library in my GPL'd program?

The Free Software Foundation's FAQ says this: I'd like to modify GPL-covered programs and link them with the portability libraries from Money Guzzler Inc. I cannot distribute the source code for ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Can I license Python project under 3-clause BSD while it has GPL-based dependencies

tl;dr: Some, including the Free Software Foundation (FSF, publishers of the GPL) says no, you can't do this. Others say yes, you can. The FSF considers a work a single program if the parts ...
user avatar
  • 8,956
9 votes

Am I in danger if a project component is relicensed?

Your options here are pin the version of the library you use at the last point where it was licensed as MIT. fork the library at the last MIT-licensed commit Re-license your own project as GPL What ...
user avatar
  • 6,655
9 votes
Accepted

Using GPL library with MIT licensed code

Firstly, IANAL/IANYL, and the question of what makes a derivative work in law is still very much an open one. That said, you are right that the FSF explicitly permits the use of more relaxed (...
user avatar
  • 37.6k
8 votes

Usage of GPL program as optional external tool

Fortunately, this is not a tricky case at all. You are not in any way bound by any terms in the GPL if you are not distributing software that is licensed to you under the GPL. Neither you nor your ...
user avatar
  • 8,956
8 votes
Accepted

When is my project a derivative work in an interpreted language?

A derivative work is a work based on or derived from one or more already existing works. In the arts, common derivative works include translations, musical arrangements, motion picture versions of ...
user avatar
  • 8,605
7 votes
Accepted

Can I put a license on my code if it uses external libraries?

You can license code that you own under any license you wish, no exceptions. Even if your code is just a patch, you own copyrights to that patch and therefore you may license it however you please. ...
user avatar
  • 86
6 votes

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

The page from the University of Washington's School of Law goes on to say Typical object oriented programming languages include a standard class hierarchy. This hierarchy provides a framework within ...
user avatar
6 votes

Do I have to release my code as GPL when a Java Library is GPL

Absolutely yes. The GPL is very strict on this: any type of (code) linking to a GPL-licensed library is considered derivative and must also come under GPL. In Java, this means a single import ...
user avatar
  • 8,650
6 votes

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

Be careful. Some uses of a program or library include parts of it in the result. Quite unlikely for a library, but a tool like e.g.bison writes a program that contains pieces of the source. In fact, ...
user avatar
  • 4,969
6 votes
Accepted

Linking from LGPL 2.1 software to Apache 2.0 library

License compatibility is a one-way street. If A-licensed software can link to B-licensed software, this does not imply that linking in the reverse direction is allowed. The LGPL-2.1 has one-way ...
user avatar
  • 33k
6 votes

Can a GPL-licensed library be used in private development builds of a proprietary application?

Yes, that would be allowed. Versions of a software product that don't derive from/use GPL code are not subject to the GPL licensing terms, so you can use whatever license ou like for those versions. ...
user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

No way to write a commercial product in R?

Just because a language and its toolchains are licensed under the GNU GPL does not mean that any software you create with it also needs to be GPL-licensed. The GPL FAQ reads: Can I use GPL-covered ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
5 votes

Do I need to share OSS libraries source code when I only use them in binary?

Apache 2.0 and all the BSD flavors have no copyleft clause. They allow distribution without sourcecode, so it doesn't matter for them. The MPL Version 1.1 only requires that you make the sourcecode ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Using dynamically linked library with BSD 3-clause License

No, you do not need to change the license of your dll and you do not need to publish any source code. In contrast to a strong copyleft, non-permissive license like the GPL the BSD licenses are instead ...
user avatar
5 votes

LGPL and static linking when third-party tools are required - providing an alternate version that can accept a replacement LGPL library

The GPL FAQ says: If you statically link against an LGPL'd library, you must also provide your application in an object (not necessarily source) format, so that a user has the opportunity to modify ...
user avatar
  • 30.8k
5 votes

Linking from LGPL 2.1 software to Apache 2.0 library

This is a gray area of sorts: let me first reformulate the question a bit to support my points: Can copyleft-licensed code depend on non-copyleft-licensed code that is using a license that is deemed ...
user avatar

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