38

There are many reasons why people and companies are involved with open source. Often, these conflicts occur because a business running a project is using a license written by people with totally different goals. Suggestions for more “fairness” also tend to misunderstand how the Open Source ecosystem is a massive network, and it's difficult to ascribe a clear ...


36

TeX was created before Open Source was formally defined. Its use is not restricted; it is stated explicitly in Knuth's writings that its methods and algorithms may be used freely for any purpose, whether personal or commercial. The request that changes to the program under its original name be made only by the author is made for the purpose of maintaining ...


34

No, of course it is NOT open-source. The generally-accepted definition of open-source is the one by the OSI. The list on the linked site of the OSI is a bit more verbose and fleshed-out, but the important part is: For a software to be allowed to be called open-source it needs some form of (ideally OSI-approved) license which grants the users right to use the ...


34

No Open Source license does that. Even the GNU GPL license allows one program to interact with another non-free program via pipes, sockets, streams etc. While the licenses can't do this, there are Linux distributions where the distribution creators make a commitment to only including free software, for example the Debian main package repository.


31

Putting software under the GPL does not mean abandoning ownership? Absolutely not. In nations signatory to the Berne Convention, copyright is the default, which means by default only the author (or current copyright holder, if the original author transfers the copyright) may reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, etc. The author of a work may use ...


30

(Update 2019-03-09: MongoDB retracted the license from OSI review.) Does the SSPL have a chance of getting OSI-approved? Yes, of course there's a chance, though currently it looks like a rather slim one. The SSPL is significantly stricter than the AGPL. The SSPL puts additional conditions on […] offering a service the value of which entirely or ...


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 ...


27

Yes, it is open source, at least according to the Open Source Definition, the closest thing the community has to an agreed definition of open source. The clause that allows this is Clause 4: Integrity of The Author's Source Code The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "...


24

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 ...


20

The term "open source" has a broad base of speakers who use the term to refer strictly to software licensed under terms in compliance with the Open Source Initiative's Open Source Definition document. I am unaware of any community of speakers that acknowledges a formal definition for "open software." Broadly, "open" might indicate some ability to integrate ...


19

As the other answer says, "open software" is not generally used as a synonym for "open source software". If I heard a vendor describe their application as "open and flexible", I would generally interpret that as meaning that it provides many hooks for customizing the behavior, but without actually making the source code available. As a result, you're ...


18

tl;dr: No. It depends on the definitions of the terms "Open Source Software" and "Free Software". A common definition (and in my opinion it’s the one that should be used, otherwise the scope of the terms will be subjective): Free Software is software licensed under an FSF-approved software license. (on the basis of The Free Software ...


18

Which licenses give me a guarantee that a software I'm installing is completely open-source, free of closed-source dependencies or components? Unfortunately, a license cannot do that. Here's the problem. Anyone can attach put any license file into their project repo that they want to. The text of the license file may assert that that everything in their ...


15

The concept of an open system in engineering predates the concept of open source by a few decades. The use and popularity of the concept in software development occurred roughly the same time as, if a bit earlier than, open source - with the development and rise of Unix in the 1980s. An open software is one that can be easily integrated with other software. ...


12

From Open Source Initiatives FAQ: "Free software" and "open source software" are two terms for the same thing: software released under licenses that guarantee a certain, specific set of freedoms. Open Source arose from people who supported the FSF, but later branched out over the decision of philosophy and marketing. There are differences, of course, ...


12

Yes. See the examples from my answer to the question "Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?": Example 1: Free Software, but not Open Source Software Netscape’s early versions of Mozilla were released under the Netscape Public License version 1.0 (see its Wikipedia article). This license is approved by the FSF, but it is not approved ...


12

Software is considered "open source"1 as long as it satisfies at least one of the widely-accepted definitions, like OSD, FSD, DFSG etc. It's possible for a piece of software to both spy on its users / violate their privacy and still be open source; the two properties are orthogonal. However, you may find that among the open source communities, a ...


12

NPOSL is an Open Source license; you've made a common reading error with the license text. It's the licensor, not the licensee, that needs to be a non-profit. In other words, a non-profit could publish code under the NPOSL, but everyone else can use the code. The NPOSL is a variant of the OSL; the OSL's author explains the license on their website: There is ...


12

Legally, those 30 lines are company property. Practically, those 30 lines are technical debt. As the original codebase evolves, you will need to continually apply the same 30 line patch to the code every time you update. When you leave the company, it will fall on your successor to keep making the changes. And you have to tell your successor and they ...


11

The answer is "no". While the new license you've constructed has at is basis two well-known free licenses, it is still a different license and it obviously fails the the Open Source Definition: The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons. Apart from the definition, something should also be said of the problems this "license" ...


10

It means that to be considered open, a license is allowed to enforce that the original source must be transmitted unmodified (with the patch file proviso). This is for example useful for a security application where the original version has been vetted by experts in the field but random changes may open up vulnerabilities. Grouping the diffs into patch ...


10

The main difference is philosophical, and so subtle that it is easy to miss because it is not in any licence or list. It is that open source tends emphasize quality, reviewability, correctness and community whereas free software focuses on personal liberty, speech, and opportunity. Both camps endorse the others goals as good, just not quite as important to ...


10

No, CC-BY-ND isn't Open Source. It violates rule 3 of the Open Source Definition: 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. It also violates the freedom 3 of the Free Software Definition: The freedom to ...


9

If you do not know where your code came from (you did not write it, or you did not buy or license it), then there is no way for you to know its heritage. As a result, you cannot then open source it. There is no way that I know of to analyse the code, and determine it's heritage unless you have already pre-analysed the code it may have come from (i.e. you ...


9

Open source licenses operate by licensing the rights that exist under copyright. If those rights did not exist (just as they cease to do when a copyright expires), then any terms imposed by the license are moot: recipients of the work can do largely whatever they please with it, because there are no copyright rules telling them they can't. This is mildly ...


8

1.It's open-source, so I can host my own builds of software that I compiled myself. Yes. You can. 2.The names of the projects are not registered, so I can use them at my own will and it's not illegal. Also, if the name is ambigious or vague, this just lends me even more leverage. Are you sure about this? Just because the names aren't registered doesn't ...


8

As I've said before, software doesn't possess any licence inherently - it is distributed (or, as the GPLv3 would have it, conveyed) under a licence. You, as the copyright holder, may distribute your software under any kind of licence you want, to anyone you choose. You may choose to distribute it only to 501(c) organisations, and only under GPLv3, if you ...


8

Is what they are doing legal? It certainly seems that way. The phrase "open source" is just a pair of words. Anyone can use the phrase to refer to some kind of "source" that is "open" in some respect. The Open Source Initiative wrote the Open Source Definition (OSD), which is what most people mean when they say "open ...


7

"Open Source" is not a formally defined term, so there are various definitions. Some might interpret it literally and apply it to any software whose source code is published (without necessarily any granted rights, e.g., to distribute it), some might apply it to any software that comes with certain not necessarily well-defined freedoms, some might apply it ...


7

There is nothing wrong ethically or legally with hosting a site that has discussion space for a particular (open source or not) software product. Nor is there anything wrong with hosting builds and and source of an open source project. There is something wrong though with giving the impression that you are affiliated with some project when in fact you are ...


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