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
21 votes
Accepted

Is there any way to assert that a source code correspond to a compiled code?

The naive answer is, of course, to build it yourself and verify that your built binary is identical to the binary supplied by the other party. So much for the theory. In practice, this can be ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36k
20 votes
Accepted

Can I sell UNMODIFIED Open source software without providing the actual source code?

GPLv3 directly addresses your question, so no speculation is required. Conveying unmodified code is covered in s4, and conveying other forms than source code in s6. s6 says that You may convey a ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
19 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 ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Does modified server code, used in public website development, which is originally available under GPL2 have to be released to the public?

No, you do not 'distribute copies of free software' so you are not required to provide source code. This is how many service providers are able to integrate GPL-licensed code with their proprietary ...
rvs's user avatar
  • 473
18 votes
Accepted

MIT-licensed app without the source code

The MIT license doesn't require source code to be published. It only requires that the license notice is kept intact. MIT-licensed binaries without source code are rare – no source kinda defeats the ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
18 votes
Accepted

What license can I use for source code in an (e)book, that does not restrict binary distribution?

My ideal would be something that requires attribution only in source form, but not in compiled/binary/object form. The Boost Software License has this very feature baked right into it, no ...
Mark G.'s user avatar
  • 296
16 votes
Accepted

Does "the GPL doesn't cover the output of a program" also apply if the output is source code?

When we say "the GPL doesn't cover the ouput of a program" what we mean precisely is that the license of a program's output data is a function of the license on the particular input data ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36k
14 votes
Accepted

GPL - Is it required to post source code to the Public - when is a software released?

Is the fact, that the website which can be reached over the internet already enough to speak of a release of the server side software? No, it isn't, which is why the Affero GPL was developed. The ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
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
13 votes
Accepted

Hypothetical: FOSS License for Compiler with Ken Thompson's "Trusting Trust" backdoor

Yes. When distributing the binary of a GPL work, you must share the "Corresponding Source" of the work. "Corresponding Source" is defined in Section 1 of the GPL v3 as The “...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Linux Kernel v0.01 source code licensing

As Mark Plotnick notes, version 0.01 of Linux was released under its own, fairly liberal crayon license. The only problem with it is that it prohibits any distribution fee, which would make it GPL-...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,919
11 votes
Accepted

Who owns the copyright to code which the author was paid to write?

This question touches a lot of different copyright issues; here's the basic overview (under US law) followed by how I think it applies: (1) The author owns the copyright. If it's a work made for ...
TroublesomeQuarry's user avatar
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

Derived work of BSD licensed software, how do I indicate this?

If you adapt a file, you have to satisfy the licensing requirements for that file, whatever your changes and whatever the licensing requirements. If the module only specifies Copyright ... and BSD, I'...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
  • 4,183
9 votes
Accepted

Can I sell my own CMS based on another CMS (e.g. WordPress) and encrypt the source code?

Can I recode wordpress or another CMS and then sell it as my own? recode for specific purposes. I'm going to remove needless code, add my own and customize CMS for myself As long as the license ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
9 votes

Does reading code and re-implementing the logic, and releasing under your name count as a licensing violation of MIT?

Reading code and then writing it down from memory, whenever you're writing down the exact code or not, can be considered "derived work" and thus could be subject to copyright (IANAL, but as ...
Thomas Guyot-Sionnest's user avatar
9 votes

What license can I use for source code in an (e)book, that does not restrict binary distribution?

My first thought was that a simple variant of BSD could probably do the job for you, but then I caught myself. It's kind of you, that you don't want to saddle people offering compiled versions of ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.7k
9 votes

Does modified server code, used in public website development, which is originally available under GPL2 have to be released to the public?

Using modified GPL-licensed software on the server side for services is unproblematic in terms of licensing. You do not distribute the software and you can do on your machine whatever you want without ...
planetmaker's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Using a GPL V3 library in a Android app published on Google Play, do I need to release the application's source code?

It depends how you are using this GPL library. If you are calling functions from this library in your code, then in general the GPL would apply to the calling code and therefore your calling code ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
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
  • 36k
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
  • 36k
8 votes

Code obfuscation and GPL3

I'm not a lawyer, but here is my two cents. 1)Should I open source all of my main program? If the only interaction between your program and the GPL3 program (or any other open source program) is via ...
airfishey's user avatar
  • 1,894
8 votes
Accepted

google_font license (Apache2.0) has no Copyright what to do?

Section 4(c) lists the only obligations you have with regards to copyright notices: You must retain, in the Source form of any Derivative Works that You distribute, all copyright, patent, trademark, ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36k
8 votes
Accepted

If I use a mobile app that fetches data from a website under GPLv2+ is the app also under GPL?

The license of an application and the license of data that application produces can be independent, and are only interrelated if the data includes executable code from the executable itself: Is there ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36k
8 votes
Accepted

Open source program - commercial compiler?

There is no requirement that the compiler has to be open sourced. Only the build scripts like Makefiles, CMakeLists.txt, Maven POM have to be open sourced. If the compiler is not open source, somebody ...
ruben2020's user avatar
  • 2,318
7 votes
Accepted

License for R scripts

You first paragraph is correct. The interpreter license does not imply how you should license your scripts. But the second part is not. If you are relying on packages, this likely means that you are ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,587
7 votes

Can I use source code licensed under CC-BY-SA for commercial closed source project?

You can include CC-BY-SA source code in proprietary software iff you do not publish that software. The CC-BY-SA requirements only apply once you Share[1] the adapted work. For example, this would ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
7 votes

Is reverse-compiled assembly considered as a valid form of "source code" in GPLv2?

If you were making modifications, would you prefer to work on the original source code, with proper structure, variable names, comments etc or on the decompiled version which may well be missing all ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar

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