60

CC's own FAQ addresses the reasons, which I find satisfactory, so I'm just going to reproduce it here and expand on the key points: Unlike software-specific licenses, CC licenses do not contain specific terms about the distribution of source code, which is often important to ensuring the free reuse and modifiability of software. Many software licenses also ...


34

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 important part is: For a software to be allowed to be called open-source it needs some form of (ideally OSI-approved) license which grants the users right to use the ...


20

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 covered work in object code form under the terms of sections 4 and 5, provided that you also convey the machine-readable Corresponding Source under the terms of ...


18

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 modification needed. It is “very similar to the BSD license and the MIT license” (direct quote), but was designed with these very use-cases in mind: Must require that the ...


17

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 tremendously difficult, because a body of source code can be validly compiled into an unbounded number of valid binaries, influenced by what compiler you're using, ...


16

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 purpose of open source – but it's also not the first time I've heard about this construction. Even for licenses like the GPL that do require source code, it's ...


15

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 used to produce that output, rather than a function of the license on the program that performed the input-to-output conversion. If a program produces output such ...


14

I wrote to the FSF's licensing team about this question: [...] Does this [section 13] mean that if I run a *completely unmodified* AGPL-licensed program as a network service, I am *not* required to offer the source code to network users? And I received this response (bracketed phrase added by me): [...] If you haven't modified the software then you ...


14

TL;DR: CC-BY-SA is a technically perfect open source license. CC-BY-SA's use is discouraged because of the "license proliferation" problem. Going into more detail on the first point, first we need to know what it means to be an "open source" license. OSI has a great definition of what it means to be open: http://opensource.org/osd Lets go through each ...


14

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

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 AGPL extends the group of people who are entitled to have the source to include people who interact with the software over a network (see s13). If the PHP code ...


12

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-incompatible. Here's the full text: This kernel is (C) 1991 Linus Torvalds, but all or part of it may be redistributed provided you do the following: - Full ...


11

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 concern, but I guess the point is the majority of software was released without a written license. Moreover, don't forget at that time there was no internet, ...


10

Novels and other written works do have source code: it's the "preferred form for modification", so basically the files you need if you want to edit the "work", whatever it is. If you write your novel in LibreOffice, it's the .odt file, plus any external files you may need (images, diagrams etc.). If you write it in LaTeX, it's the .tex file, plus any ...


10

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 hire, then the employer owns it. A work made for hire is (1) a work an employee prepares OR (2) certain special types of works as long as the parties agree, in a ...


10

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'd start by seeking clarification from the original author, since there are different versions of the BSD license (two-clause, three-clause and the obsolete four-...


9

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 allows it yes. The Wordpress license is the GPL-2.0. The GPL allows modification, redistribution and commercialization all right. But it also has some obligations ...


9

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 copyright license on something that isn't copyrightable. In the US, companies started to argue that computer program source code was protected as a literary work, and ...


9

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 your code with any kind of attribution requirement, but I advise strongly against attempting to embed that in some form of custom licence. In this talk at FOSDEM (...


8

Provided it is a real clean room Linux Driver (i.e. it is not adapted from a GPL-licensed Linux Driver), then the company that owns its copyright does not have to respect the GPL. Having the potential to be linked to the Linux-kernel, or to Linux system libraries, or using some Linux API in the manner it is supposed to be used, does not trigger the GPL. ...


8

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 forms) in binary-only format if you wish. If the binary happens also to produce source code, that's fine too, but it doesn't have to do so. For the GPL, this ...


8

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 into the expected location. Imagine a thousand people download your project and stand up their own versions of your open-source server -- what's the point of ...


8

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, and attribution notices from the Source form of the Work, excluding those notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works; If there are zero of ...


8

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 some way that I can GPL the output people get from use of my program? For example, if my program is used to develop hardware designs, can I require that these ...


7

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 would be subject to the GPL terms, including source code redistribution per this answer: For Copyleft licenses, how (proprietary- or non-Copyleft- licensed) ...


7

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 a Python subprocess call, then I don't believe you are required to open source your program. See https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#MereAggregation: ...


7

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 far as I can recall the definitions of derived work and fair use remain fuzzy and subject to interpretation; in this specific case, and particularly if the ...


7

No open source license that I know of disallows obfuscation, minification, or similar modifications. In a way, that's just a kind of translation like compilation, and it wouldn't make sense for an open source license to disallow compilation. However, some licenses require the source code to be made available under certain circumstances. But what is the ...


7

The FSF includes Freedom #1 in their Free Software Definition: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. A software artifact is not inherently free or nonfree, but the terms under which it is possible (legally and practically) to use, ...


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