41 votes

Is it legal to use GPL code in a proprietary, closed-source program by putting it in a separate, standalone program?

IANAL/IANYL. That said, the FSF, who are generally thought of as arguing for a fairly wide interpretation of what the GPL covers, are reasonably clear that the proprietary program and the GPL wrapper ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
34 votes

Can I disregard GPL just because I use autoconf?

The exception says that “you may include it”, where it is the build scripts generated by autoconf. This is not a broad GPL exception that would apply to any GPL-licensed software. The autotools ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
33 votes
Accepted

Choosing the most restrictive open-source license

There is no free software / open source license that will satisfy your requirements. These licenses generally focus on the freedoms of end users, they are not trying to restrict anyone. The freedom to ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
26 votes
Accepted

What is the correct term for software whose source code is available only to read?

Source available is a common term used to describe such licenses.
D. SM's user avatar
  • 1,876
25 votes
Accepted

Can my proprietary app automatically download a GPL-licensed binary?

You could, but I wouldn't bother. Your application invokes a GPLed binary via fork-and-exec, and as we have written many times here (example), that means it's likely a separate work for GPL purposes....
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
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
  • 48.7k
23 votes

Can I sell a proprietary software with an LGPL library bundled along with it, without making my source code public?

Yes, you can distribute your software without making the source code public and without giving recipients the right to make changes to your software. The LGPL license explicitly allows such usages of ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Difference between MongoDB SSPL and GNU AGPL

The AGPL requires that the people interacting with program A over a network have the right (and possibility) to obtain a copy of the source code of A. The AGPL does not strictly define what ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
20 votes

May I use AGPL license in a desktop application without providing the source code?

There is a lot of confusion regarding modification. You claim that "The lib's code is just used, not modified." That's a very narrow interpretation of modification. In court, integrating the library ...
Bruno Lowagie's user avatar
19 votes

When distributing a Linux kernel driver as source code, what's the difference between Proprietary and GPL license?

Do you customers have any right to modify the source they've been given? Do they have the right to distribute the code without your permission? Do they have the right to distribute modified versions ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Can I sell a proprietary software with an LGPL library bundled along with it, without making my source code public?

You've already got the answer that LGPL libraries can be used in commercial software. So far, so good. There's more to this than meets the eye, though. The thing is, PySide2 is for using the Qt ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 306
18 votes
Accepted

As owner of GPL library, can I break the licensing terms?

Yes indeed, as the sole author (copyright owner) of a library, you are not bound by the terms you choose to license it to the general public. Thus you can use it in your own proprietary programs. ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,587
17 votes
Accepted

Are all docker images free (i.e. GPL)?

Linux (the Kernel) uses the GPL 2.0 with an extra statement: NOTE! This copyright does not cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
17 votes

Is it legal to use GPL code in a proprietary, closed-source program by putting it in a separate, standalone program?

The answer is, it depends. If you are introducing the wrapper just to try to avoid the obligations of the GPL, there's a good chance it's not legal. Whether two works are derivative works of each ...
whatsisname's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for a corporation to "lock in" & restrict usage and redistribution of Open Source software that it has released to it's own services?

If Amazon writes the code, they can release it under any licence(s) they choose, including fully-free and fully-proprietary licences, or not release it at all. The cognitive disconnect here is that ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
16 votes
Accepted

What happens if a company releases third-party confidential code as open source?

Mr. Coyote should talk to his lawyers ASAP. While he was unaware that the code he was using was a copyright violation, he could make a reasonable defense against punitive damages. However, now he is ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How do products like MongoDB not violate the GPL licenses?

MongoDB requires contributors to sign a contributor agreement where they have to waive all rights so that MongoDB can license the code subsequently under whatever license they see fit. That includes ...
planetmaker's user avatar
13 votes

Is using MIT-licensed code in non-open source code considered stealing?

For all software libraries, copyright law applies, and you must read and follow the license in order to use it legally. For a MIT licensed code library, if you distribute the resulting package, you ...
Neil Slater's user avatar
12 votes

Can a closed-source software be free

What you describe is usually called freeware. The FSF does not consider freeware to be free software, considering it to be proprietary software, and asks people not to call free software freeware. ...
whatsisname's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Proprietary Software + GPL: A case study with OctaneRender and Blender

Your question already contains the relevant analysis, and without knowing details about their protocol there's nothing to add here. So this is a case where the software could be compliant, and is not ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
11 votes

Use of BSD-3 Clause license and python software license for proprietary use

BSD-3 clause is a very permissive license that does not require you disclosing your source code or the source code of the open source libraries. You are not required to allow your users to re-...
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to remove a dependency with a copyleft license from a proprietary project?

Law is complicated and varies by jurisdiction. In the United States (and probably many other jurisdictions), a court generally cannot compel you to release your source code simply because you did not ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Can Apple require users to accept the Xcode/iOS license to use git?

Apple is generally very good at being on the verge of legality regarding open source / free software. And they have enough lawyers so that I would be really surprised if one found a clear violation. ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,587
10 votes
Accepted

PolyForm Noncommercial 1.0.0 license is proprietary software?

The PolyForm Noncommercial 1.0.0 license is not a free license as defined by this site. It is a source-available license, and you have a license for distributing the code (e.g. useful for JS of a ...
Martin_in_AUT's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Dynamically Linking a Proprietary Module to a GPL-Covered Library (C/C++)

I would like to understand if this project setup complies with the GNU General Public License (GPL). Specifically, I am seeking clarification on whether project Bar, being proprietary and dynamically ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is GPLv3 violated by releasing proprietary code as a GnuPG-signed package?

In general, the GPL does not affect the output of a GPL-licensed program. From the GPL FAQ: Is there some way that I can GPL the output people get from use of my program?For example, if my program is ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
9 votes

Is it possible to use a library under the EUPL license for a commercial closed-source project?

Is EUPL alone compatible with proprietary softwares? Short answer: Yes, you can use an EUPL library in your proprietary application. There are lots of information about this topic on the official ...
N. Gimenez's user avatar
9 votes

May I use AGPL license in a desktop application without providing the source code?

The GPL license family consists of three kinds of licenses: The GPL is the most widespread variant. If you include GPL software into your software, you can only distribute the result under the terms ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Opensource license ownership and collaboration

Suppose that the original creator A releases a project under an open source license XYZ. Suppose that a contributor B contributes code to that project under the same license. In that case, the ...
Bruno Lowagie's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Can GoJS be included into an open source project?

You say the most important question is can an open source project include the library and still stay open source? IANAL/IANYL, but as I read it, no. Firstly, section 2.1.4(b) of the licence ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k

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