68

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 converse is not true. If a piece of software is "free as in beer," it will not automatically become "free as in speech." There are a lot of ...


31

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. There was a piece of free software that gathered data from various sleep apnea machines, the principal developer of which parted company with the entire community ...


18

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 idea, based on what you have told us in your question. Packaging and distribution is not easy to do. At an absolute minimum, you will be responsible for all of the ...


13

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 essentially the same license as the GPLv3 with the addition of Section 13 as you can see in this side-by-side diff of the two license texts: Remote Network ...


13

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 consequence, a company or other organization can develop a modified version and install that version through its own facilities, without giving the staff permission ...


13

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 give free copies of the software to other people. As a result, most Open Source vendors don't sell the software itself - they sell service plans. You can install ...


10

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 was only legal because it was 'free as in speech' and not 'as in beer'. At that time copying software was not effortless.


9

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. And to answer the underlying question that you did you ask: yes, you have to comply with any specific FLOSS licensing requirements for this piece of JavaScript ...


9

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 package available as easily as possible - but as a maintainer it's very much desirable to have them on a reliable basis which will last some time and create the ...


8

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 specifies that Customer may not ... modify any Licensed Product, or create any derivative work of any Licensed Product s2.1.5(a) allows you to modify it under ...


8

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 achieve the latter, you must have other contributors agree to a contributor licensing agreement (CLA) that allows you, specifically, to offer that contributor's ...


8

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 distribution violates GPLv3 overall. However, I couldn't be sure what courts might say. To work out the answer would require a very capable lawyer.


8

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 approach to the issue. The previous issue with Apple was, as the OP notes, GPLv2-specific. GPLv2's handling of additional obligations being placed on ...


8

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 are the maintainer of this fork and not the person maintaining the original project. After having done that, you can take your fork in any direction you (and the ...


7

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 software, the terms of the license do not require them to share their changes. The GPL requires that whenever you do choose to distribute your software (which ...


7

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 GitHub.com. GitHub's ToS do not require uploaders to allow any other kinds of redistribution. What if the license limits the redistribution (only allow ...


6

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 of authors and will be included along with the others. Some source files contain a list of contributor names at the top of each file with the license. Some ...


6

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 without the corresponding private key (or public key, for that matter). And the private key should not be considered part of the program.


6

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 friends (free and commercial) That also is redistribution. Can redistribution even mean just packaging your project into a exe because you are like rearranging ...


6

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 indistinguishable from Alice's original copy, why would anybody buy the game from Alice when they could just get it from Bob? Or copy it from a friend? ...


5

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: yes, this is a requirement. It is also widely observed in the free phone software world. Apps generally have an option somewhere down under the menus that ...


5

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. Even if the software is copyleft, the party developing and selling that software can ask their clients (more or less) nicely to please not redistribute it. If ...


4

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 why authors would not want people to redistribute their software: They offer the software for free download only to draw attention to their website and any ...


4

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 the freedoms of users. Therefore, what it requires is distribution of the source code to users of the software. The first major impact this has is that all of ...


4

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 open internet? No. Neither of these cases is an example of "conveying" (or "distribution" as it used to be called in GPLv2): https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....


4

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 Attribution" section in your help, with a note in the spirit of "This product uses Node.js, Copyright (c) Joyent, Inc. For full details see /path/to/myprogram/3rd-...


4

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 Collection, the Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License. You [Bob]...


4

By itself the GPL does not include such restrictions, but it neither includes any permission to use trademarked names. Strictly speaking you do not have to do anything. However, the GPLv3 does have an Additional Terms mechanism that explicitly allows you to add trademark restrictions: you may […] supplement the terms of this License with terms: […...


4

This is a great question because it comes up a lot and might seem like a bit of a free for all, but there are ways to be a bit objective in answering! I will try to do this by sharing with you approaches that I have seen to be successful, and basing what I say on documentation and policy where it exists. I don't know that there is a "standard" ...


4

Interesting; let's examine your list of special-mode features. A warning is presented to user and confirmation is received from user for entering special mode All trust based data on device is wiped off rootfs verification is not done In this mode now user is free to install his own modified version of FOSS and run it This mode does not support use-cases ...


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