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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
51 votes
Accepted

What exactly is Tivoization and why didn't Linus Torvalds like it in GPLv3?

Tivolization, named after TiVo that widely used it, is a practice of devices running free software, but placing restrictions (such as digital signatures) that block running modified versions of the ...
Mureinik's user avatar
  • 5,142
41 votes

Is the term 'open source' a trademark?

International trademarks can be searched online in the WIPO Global Brand Database. “open source” is trademarked in some areas, none relevant for software OSI holds a US trademark for “Open Source ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
29 votes

Is the term 'open source' a trademark?

The OSI failed to secure a trademark on "open source" in 1999, and the term remains not trademarked. You may use "open source" to mean virtually anything you want, without legal ramifications, but to ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.2k
26 votes
Accepted

What is the correct term for software whose source code is available only to read?

Source available is a common term used to describe such licenses.
D. SM's user avatar
  • 1,886
22 votes

What exactly is Tivoization and why didn't Linus Torvalds like it in GPLv3?

Linus has stated that he didn't like the anti-tivoization clause in GPLv3 because it fundamentally changes the GPL. The whole point and purpose of the GPL, in Linus' mind, is to make users of GPL ...
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

The term "open source" has a broad base of speakers who use the term to refer strictly to software licensed under terms in compliance with the Open Source Initiative's Open Source Definition document. ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.2k
19 votes

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

As the other answer says, "open software" is not generally used as a synonym for "open source software". If I heard a vendor describe their application as "open and flexible", I would generally ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 421
15 votes

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

The concept of an open system in engineering predates the concept of open source by a few decades. The use and popularity of the concept in software development occurred roughly the same time as, if a ...
slebetman's user avatar
  • 739
12 votes

What does it mean to license a patent to software?

A practical example of the difference between software and patent licenses is FFmpeg. FFmpeg has support for many audiovisual codecs, many of which are covered by software patents in some countries. ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is coherent open source?

According to a recent slashdot post Bruce Perens has declared: The "Coherent Open Source" plan asks creators of new work to place it under one of only three licenses: The Affero GPL 3, ...
chicks's user avatar
  • 376
6 votes
Accepted

What is GPL leakage?

This term's current unavailability on Internet search suggests it was improvised by the speaker according to a negative association with the GPL that listeners would have recognised. The use of the ...
rphair's user avatar
  • 101
5 votes
Accepted

Definition of a modified code

The question is basically whether these partially copy-pasted classes are considered modifications of the original code. When you copy code (written by someone else) to a new file, then you are ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Term or phrase for a 'soft fork'?

There's no specific term. “Fork” is sufficient. “Soft fork” will be understood as well. “Branch” is another alternative. In fact, forking is the expected behaviour when using a distributed version ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
4 votes

Term or phrase for a 'soft fork'?

The phrase "friendly fork" is sometimes used when the intention is to merge back into the original project if possible, and to keep in synch with the original project until then. (These are not strict ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
4 votes
Accepted

What is the term for a user who can merge pull requests?

"Committers" is a common (and unsurprising) name. Some projects make the distinction between "Maintainers" (who are responsible for participating in decisions about the project's direction and ...
Mureinik's user avatar
  • 5,142
4 votes
Accepted

Term to describe an open-source fork that wishes to remain a fork

This is about language, language is evolving and is not used everywhere the same. Cloning a repository in order to submit a patch sure enough creates another copy of the project, and there are some ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 11.2k
3 votes
Accepted

GPL v2: what does "distribution" mean in terms of cloud apps?

wasm-git (and the libgit2 library it is built around) use the GPLv2 with linking exception. This exception reads: In addition to the permissions in the GNU General Public License, the authors ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
2 votes

How do I make a partially-free open-core product that permits custom plugins?

Another possibility is to release your native application (including the MIT-licensed Lua interpreter) under the GPLv2 or GPLv3 with the Classpath exception (quoted below). It is also used in a ...
ruben2020's user avatar
  • 2,333
2 votes
Accepted

How do I make a partially-free open-core product that permits custom plugins?

I think the solution is to release your application code under LGPL, but not alongside the binary. When a paying customer buys the executable, convey the whole thing (binary, application source, your ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
2 votes

Is "open software" the same as "open source" software?

"Open" and "flexible" are meaningless marketing terms. It's like saying that a breakfast cereal is "natural" or "nutritious". There are no standard definitions of "natural" or "nutritious". Your ...
End Antisemitic Hate's user avatar
2 votes

Is deploying a program to a virtual machine not on my hardware count as "distribution"?

Copyright law cares about legal entities, not computers. Unless AGPL is involved: It doesn't matter how many different real or virtual computers are involved -- the question is, did you make it ...
bmargulies's user avatar
  • 4,267
2 votes

Why do some people refer to Linux as GNU/Linux?

The GNU project was started in the 80ies to create a "free Unix clone" under the name GNU (acronym of "GNU is No Unix"). A lot of userland utilities got cloned, a capable C compiler and C library were ...
vonbrand's user avatar
  • 5,267
2 votes

Are there really multiple “conditions” given in the MIT license?

(Emphasis mine.) Is the last paragraph considered to be a condition pertaining to the granting of permission? If not, why isn’t the singular “condition” used instead? The last paragraph is a warranty ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

what's the meaning of `Executable File `? and the `sloc` of github hint?

"Executable" means, as you guessed, that you can execute this file directly (i.e., it's not just a library or a collection of functions). Specifically, this executable is designed to take input from a ...
Mureinik's user avatar
  • 5,142
1 vote

What does it mean to license a patent to software?

Here is the skinny of how I understand patents and copyrights as a programmer: copyright == how the code is written patent == what the code does Copyright is for the code itself as an expression of ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
1 vote

What does it mean to license a patent to software?

I thought code can only be copyrighted, not patented? That would be the misunderstanding. It is more generally agreed that algorithms can't be patented, but (sadly) various jurisdictions allow ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.2k
1 vote

Are there really multiple “conditions” given in the MIT license?

There is an additional condition below the warranty clause in the X11 license , so I think that the SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" is also interpreted as a condition. Note: according wikipedia: https:...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
1 vote

Why do some people refer to Linux as GNU/Linux?

The name of operating system may be authored as the group or author likes it. Some have created Red Hat Linux, some SuSe, and there are hundreds of such names of operating system. The original name ...
Jean Louis's user avatar
1 vote

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?

I think technically speaking it's more likely that "free software" is a subset of "open-source software" because the freedoms of modification and distribution of such, as defined ...
lkjsfkshd's user avatar
  • 111

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible