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38 votes
Accepted

How to avoid being AWSed?

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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39.1k
37 votes

Is the TeX typesetting system free and open source?

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, ...
barbara beeton's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

Which licenses give me a guarantee that a software I'm installing is completely open-source, free of closed-source dependencies or components?

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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
34 votes

Is a software open source if its source code is published by its copyright owner but cannot be used without a commercial license?

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 ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 11.2k
32 votes

SSPL and the Open Source Definition

(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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39.1k
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
  • 49.6k
26 votes
Accepted

Is the TeX typesetting system free and open source?

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: ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

How do I release code written for a company to the public?

Mere permission to publish is no use if you want to make this software open-source (and I'm assuming you do, because otherwise this question's off-topic!). The important thing is to get a clear ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.6k
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
  • 49.6k
20 votes
Accepted

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

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. ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.3k
20 votes
Accepted

Can I remove payment requirement part of a MIT licensed library

In copyright terms, you can make any changes you like to MIT licensed software so long as you ensure that The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
19 votes

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

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 ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 421
18 votes
Accepted

Why is the Non-Profit Open Software License (NPOSL) OSI-approved?

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 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,949
18 votes

Which licenses give me a guarantee that a software I'm installing is completely open-source, free of closed-source dependencies or components?

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 ...
Stephen C's user avatar
  • 441
15 votes

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

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 ...
slebetman's user avatar
  • 739
13 votes

Is there a way to only permit open-source mods for my video game to stop people from stealing code or at least enforce proper attribution?

Provide a legitimate route for mods to run on the game, and have it pull from public git repos Assuming your game uses unity, or similar, there is little you can do to stop people modding it. There's ...
lupe's user avatar
  • 247
12 votes
Accepted

Telemetry in open source software?

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 / ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,949
12 votes

If an employee modifies a copy of a GPLv3-licensed open source library, is the modified copy intellectual property of the company?

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 ...
DMPalmer's user avatar
  • 229
12 votes
Accepted

Can we use a previous release of an open source project when it had Apache 2.0 license for commercial purpose?

Yes. If you have access to a copy of the software that was licensed under Apache-2.0, then you can continue to use that software under Apache-2.0 even if newer versions use a different license. ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39.1k
9 votes

Can open source exist without copyright?

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 ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.3k
8 votes

Contradiction: Free "software" does not mean "noncommercial"

You have stumbled, like many others, across a basic ambiguity in English which does not exist in many other languages; the word free has more than one meaning. The important thing about free software ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Is there a free open source version of Android SDK available for use?

The source code itself is available here: https://android.googlesource.com/platform/sdk/+/master/ There is Android Rebuilds project which provides binaries built from this source code without non-free ...
8 votes
Accepted

Is nopCommerce really open source?

This looks very similar, to me, to the advertising clause of the old four-clause BSD licence (4BSD), which required that All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes

Is there a way to only permit open-source mods for my video game to stop people from stealing code or at least enforce proper attribution?

I find myself thinking about the development of the calculus. Newton invented it first but didn't publish, merely sharing his unpublished notes with a few hand-picked members of the Royal Society. ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Proper licensing of commercial SW including open-source by the same author

If you are the sole copyright holder you can do with it as you wish, and issue multiple non-exclusive licenses at the same time. For example, you can license it to the public under the AGPL and ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Is it in line with the DCO that a github sign-off needs and publishes full name + an email "that matches the commit author"?

Some projects such as Linux ask for the DCO to be signed in order to do due diligence, and ultimately to protect downstream users. The DCO does not forbid projects from establishing individual ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Release a BSD-licensed but closed-source program?

Is it possible to release binary-only under a permissively-free licence? Yes, absolutely. We have other questions (1, 2) here about that, but to me they boil down to "it's a bit weird, you ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it wrong to call a software Open Source if it is using a license based on GNU GPL?

Unfortunately for you, the FreeRTOS license is fundamentally broken: Any FreeRTOS source code, whether modified or in it's original release form, or whether in whole or in part, can only be ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,597
6 votes

How to fill the "name of copyright owner" in the license, if there are multiple authors?

It is legal to mention multiple people in a copyright line. It is also legal to have multiple copyright lines next to each other. My recommendation would be to first add a copyright line mentioning ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
6 votes

Is a software open source if its source code is published by its copyright owner but cannot be used without a commercial license?

Can PGP be considered open source software? No. It is a commercial proprietary licensed software. Even PGP Corporation doesn't claim it is open source software. On the other hand GNU Privacy Guard (...
Stephen C's user avatar
  • 441

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