71 votes
Accepted

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

You've noticed that if a piece of software is "free as in speech," it will probably become "free as in beer" too. That's completely true. The important thing, however, is that the ...
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  • 1,005
31 votes
Accepted

What is the standard practice when the developer does not want third party redistribution of a certain free and open source software?

This seems to happen again and again. Someone develops software, generously distributing it as free software, but doesn't fully understand the implications of giving their users the four freedoms. ...
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  • 37.6k
20 votes
Accepted

Is unDraw really "open source"?

The license of unDraw is a proprietary license for content (not software). It is not similar nor does it follow any FOSS license, and the non-compete clause apparently is in conflict with the OSI ...
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19 votes

What is the standard practice when the developer does not want third party redistribution of a certain free and open source software?

I'm going to take a contrary position to some of the other answers here. To be clear: You have the legal right to make a PPA, with or without the developer's permission. But it might not be a good ...
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  • 3,717
15 votes
Accepted

AGPLv3 source redistribution: when does it apply to my code for a server-side Java app using an AGPL-licensed library?

There are several Q&A about the AGPLv3 on this site and some answers are sending vague or mixed signals. Here is a (hopefully) clear and definitive answer with references. First the AGPLv3 is ...
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14 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

This is why most Open Source vendors sell service plans rather than software. Yes, the nature of Open Source licenses would allow anyone to download and install the software for free, and to in turn ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Can a company circumvent the freedom of distribution on GPL software for its employees or service providers?

The GPL FAQ is fairly clear: Is making and using multiple copies within one organization or company “distribution”? No, in that case the organization is just making the copies for itself. As a ...
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  • 30.8k
11 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

Actually I think this rule is coming from the ages before internet was available for everyone. Like 29 years ago you could buy a few floppy disks with linux on it. And that the vendor could charge you ...
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  • 211
10 votes
Accepted

Is putting a page with javascript in it considered a redistribution

Every lawyer I consulted with always gave me the same answer: JavaScript in web page is code redistributed to whoever loads this page in their browser. So yes, this is unambiguously redistribution. ...
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9 votes

What is the standard practice when the developer does not want third party redistribution of a certain free and open source software?

There probably is no generally accepted way to handle a situation like you describe; the best answer and course of action always depends on the individual case. On the one hand it's good to have a ...
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  • 8,042
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 ...
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  • 37.6k
8 votes
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License to disallow distribution in closed source software, but allow exceptions made by owner?

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 ...
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  • 30.8k
8 votes

Is Apple allowed to distribute GPLv3-licensed software through its iOS App Store?

I emailed Mr. Richard Stallman, the primary author of the GPL, for his opinion on this issue. I received the following reply: I studied this question for a while. It is clear that that matter of ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Is Apple allowed to distribute GPLv3-licensed software through its iOS App Store?

I have no intention of trying to argue with rms about this (or any other GPL-related) issue. But I think there's an interesting difference between GPLv2 and GPLv3 that gives rise to a new line of ...
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  • 37.6k
8 votes

What is the standard practice when the developer does not want third party redistribution of a certain free and open source software?

One way to deal with such a request is to treat is as a "please respect my trademark" request. You create a fork of the complete project, give it a new name and you make it clear that you ...
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7 votes
Accepted

NDA with GPL software: can the author decide how/when to disclose?

Then, in some way (forums, ml, etc), another entity discovers that A is developing such a feature. Is A obliged in some way to distribute that feature? No, if someone privately modifies GPL-licensed ...
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  • 30.8k
7 votes

Is it still necessary to attribute MIT code if it has been modified?

No license allows you to take copyright ownership away from an author, all authors of the source code should always be attributed. As you contribute to the project, your name can be added to the list ...
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  • 1,455
7 votes
Accepted

Publishing code on github considered (re)distribution?

would mean that any project on a public Github repository gives automatically full redistribution rights to anyone ? It means that anyone may copy the work verbatim to a new repository on the website ...
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  • 30.8k
6 votes

Can I distribute signed binaries of someone else's GPL'd code without distributing the private key?

The GPL requires you to distribute the source and "must require no special password or key for unpacking, reading or copying". However, merely signing a binary does not prevent someone from using it ...
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6 votes

In the BSD license, what does "redistribution" mean?

Does redistribution mean publicly placing a windows .exe using the BSD licensed library for users to download on a website(free and commercial) Yes, that is redistribution. sharing the exe with ...
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  • 37.6k
6 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

The answers here are great, and this one won’t be better, but there is a point that hasn’t been addressed in any of them and can be pertinent to this conversation: Because Bob's copy of the game is ...
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  • 161
5 votes
Accepted

Does a program need to show the open source license (Apache 2.0) of its components?

Combining the two articles, we see clearly that You must give any other recipients of the work of authorship, whether in Source or Object form, a copy of this License For the avoidance of doubt: ...
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  • 37.6k
5 votes

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

While someone who had bought a piece of copyleft software only distributed by the author for paying customers could indeed redistribute it for free, it doesn't necessarily follow that someone would. ...
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  • 168
5 votes
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Can I have open source notices in my app which are only displayed after authentication?

I would strongly suggest that compliance-related information is immediately accessible, without requiring a log in. This includes documents such as your contact details, your terms of service, your ...
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  • 33k
4 votes
Accepted

Can freeware be redistributed without changes?

The term "Freeware" is not well-defined. Some authors are OK with people redistributing their work unchanged, others are not. Check the license restrictions of the work in question. Possible reasons ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Distributing App for free which uses GPL'ed code

Whether or not you're charging money is irrelevant as far as the GPL is concerned, so you can take any notion of commercial versus internal out of your consideration. The GPL is all about protecting ...
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4 votes
Accepted

GPLv3 redistribution: when does it apply?

When I run this web application on a private company network and its is only available internally to my company employees? No, see below. When I run this application as a public web site on the ...
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4 votes

AGPLv3 source redistribution: when does it apply to my code for a server-side Java app using an AGPL-licensed library?

I'll answer only point 2 because this is the core of the question. Basically the question is: if I am building a public facing Java app on a private server and this app uses an AGPL library unmodified,...
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  • 5,257
4 votes
Accepted

Can I redistribute node.exe in my commercial Application's Installer?

In a word, yes. Copying the LICENSE file should be sufficient. If you really want to cover your bases, you should make this obvious from the GUI. A common practice is to have an "Open Source ...
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  • 3,757
4 votes

Do you become a "Licensor" if you redistribute a work licensed under a CC 3.0 license?

Paragraph 8.a of the license seems to clarify that the original Licensor [Alice], not You [Bob], is the Licensor to the recipient. Each time You Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work or a ...
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