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70 votes
Accepted

Is Microsoft VS Code really open source?

This is explicitly addressed in the Visual Studio Code FAQ: Why does Visual Studio Code have a different license than the vscode GitHub repository? To learn why Visual Studio Code, the product, has a ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
42 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to have the "// (c) 2019 John Smith" header in all files when there are hundreds of contributors?

As far as I am aware, all FLOSS licenses that deal with copyright notices only require the preservation of notices that exist. Each author had the opportunity to add their own name to header when they ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
21 votes

Are there any software licenses that allow for everything but changing the license or dual-licensing?

Firstly, you need a copyleft license, so that you can ensure derivatives would be subject to the same license conditions. Secondly, the license must prevent imposition of additional restrictions that ...
ruben2020's user avatar
  • 2,333
18 votes

Is Microsoft VS Code really open source?

Thanks to the work of Peter Squicciarini (@pajamaboat), you can now download 100% FLOSS binaries compiled from VSCode's official MIT-licensed repository. It is called VSCodium as a reference to the ...
agentofuser's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Author rights on software when using an online IDE

As we have said, and as you know, if the IDE is a piece of software you download and run locally, then generally speaking the IDE's licence has no effect on the licence under which your code can be ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
15 votes

Is Microsoft VS Code really open source?

The binaries distributed by Microsoft are non-free. The source code, being released under the MIT license, is free software (or "open-source") as poorly called. If you downloaded and compiled the ...
EMBLEM's user avatar
  • 2,528
13 votes

Software licensing - Pre 1970's

Was the software(before 1970's) released with free source? Well, there was surely software released with and without free source, and lots of machine code software where the distinction was of minor ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 403
12 votes
Accepted

License to use for smaller GitHub repos

This might take a while, your question isn't a short one, and it seems to me to have a number of misconceptions in it. I frequently create programs [...] in other script languages, such as PHP (PHP ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
11 votes

Software licensing - Pre 1970's

Your question is very unclear and confused, but the simple answer is: before the 1970s, software wasn't copyrightable in the US, so the very idea of "licensing" doesn't apply. You cannot put a ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Is installing an old free version legal, if the new version is not free anymore?

If you were given software under some Foo License, you may copy, distribute, and modify the software under the terms of the Foo License. If the distributor of that software stops giving out new ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Can a company license frontend software developed with open source frameworks?

Generally: a license for software tells you what permissions you have in using and distributing said software. If you produce a piece of software that incorporates other software, you have to look at ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 11.1k
10 votes
Accepted

AGPL library usage for an internal software

It depends. It depends on the architecture of your software. If the AGPL-licensed package is just used in an back-end application on a server, and not exposed to 3rd party interaction (through a proxy ...
Martin_in_AUT's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Licensing code on GitHub in a valid way

I want to make sure in no way am I liable for any issues, and that my code cannot simply be copied and claimed as someone else's. You want a license that includes a disclaimer of liability (often in ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
9 votes

Is Java (JRE) still free for commercial use?

The answer is complicated. The following only applies to Java SE. (Not Java ME, EE, Oracle databases, etc. Not Android.) From Java 9 onwards, most Java distros do not come in a JRE only form. ...
Stephen C's user avatar
  • 441
9 votes
Accepted

Copyright holder in R packages

To quote from Wikipedia: Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. So the copyright in what you've written covers the creative ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Can a quine be distributed as binary only and be open source?

This is categorically fine under the MIT license (as long as you follow basic attribution and license-preservation requirements), since the MIT license allows you to distribute the work (and modified ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Open Source projects with encryption keys

You should not include keys in your open source project. You should include a file location where your code expects a key, and the user (or an included utility) creates or copies their own unique key ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I hide a few lines of code because of security reasons?

You are not generally required[1] to release any secret keys necessary to make an application run. Instead, users can obtain their own key. However, redacting your source code is not a suitable ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
8 votes

Is Java (JRE) still free for commercial use?

There're several different JRE available with different licenses. Two most prominent are: OpenJDK is open-source (GPL). You can use it without having to pay for it. Oracle JRE use different license (...
Alexander Pushkarev's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Are shell scripts considered binaries for licensing purposes?

The parenthetical (and not binary) from the license summary you quote is derived from the end of the second paragraph of the Boost license (emphasis mine): The copyright notices in the Software and ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
8 votes

Are shell scripts considered binaries for licensing purposes?

There is a definition in GPL what 'source code' means, and I think this is basically the understanding in the entire industry, so not specific to GPL: The “source code” for a work means the preferred ...
Martin_in_AUT's user avatar
8 votes

Short Weak Copyleft Software License

Really, the comments above say everything that needs to be said, but I'll pull it together into a single answer. Firstly, the GPL is complex in its writing because it's a legal document; it's meant to ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
7 votes

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

Plausible, an open source alternative to Google analytics, released a blog post detailing their move from MIT licensing to the AGPL (Affero GNU Public License). In it, they have the following claim: ...
abetusk's user avatar
  • 462
7 votes

Can i use a GPLv2 module in my commercial application?

No version of the GPL forbids selling software. If you're merging other software with it, the whole thing has to be under GPLv2, so other people can use and distribute it as they like, and you need ...
David Thornley's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to say two licenses are compatible?

Licence compatibility arises when works, say A and B, under two different licences, say N and P respectively, are combined to form a new work C. Because C is a derivative work of A it must honour any ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
7 votes

Is Java (JRE) still free for commercial use?

TLDR; Get your Java runtime from Adoptium (the new name of AdoptOpenJDK). It basically uses the same sources as the Oracle JDK and is licensed as GPLv2 with classpath exception. I understand this must ...
Jasper Siepkes's user avatar
7 votes

Are there any software licenses that allow for everything but changing the license or dual-licensing?

I voted up Ruben's answer, but also noticed a possible confusion in the question: allow users of my code to make derivatives, but disallow derivatives from imposing any restrictions on the usage of ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 229
6 votes

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

I'm going to answer your question from the perspective: what is the risk to open sourcing the technology that your friend's business has developed. I try to tackle your more specific question at the ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 298

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