Stephen Kitt
  • Member for 6 years, 7 months
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Can I take BSD licensed code and distribute it under GPL?
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27 votes

If the BSD license in question is the two- or three-clause variant (i.e. without the advertising clause), I think you're technically allowed to do it, but you couldn't really enforce it: anyone who ...

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Should I include a copyright line in every file?
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26 votes

I think it's important to include both copyright and licensing information in all files: it ensures that everyone's rights are perfectly clear, regardless of what happens to the code in the future. ...

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What exactly is a pull request?
17 votes

The term "pull request" comes from git, where the git pull command is used to merge a different repository into your local one. So if someone else has a copy of your git repository, and makes changes ...

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Can the Linux kernel be released under GPLv3?
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16 votes

When this question was asked, the kernel's COPYING file started with the following comment (second paragraph): Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel is concerned is ...

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Can I make typographical changes to the MIT license?
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16 votes

The copyright line isn't actually part of the license, it's a separate entity. So changing that doesn't change the license. In fact "©" is the correct form, so that change at least counts as an ...

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Can I distribute unmodified GPLv2 binaries without the source code?
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13 votes

This is covered in section 3 of the GPL, version 2: You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of ...

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Are there examples of proprietary software that functionally depends on free software?
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11 votes

I'll use Steam as an example. Steam is Valve Software's platform for hosting games (and movies etc.); it is itself proprietary. Initially it was Windows-only, but in the last few years it has been ...

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Are you legally allowed to use abandoned projects?
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11 votes

There are a number of issues to consider. First, to answer the main question: you are legally allowed to use any abandoned open source project, the fact that it's abandoned doesn't change your rights....

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Does Open Source Software need an EULA to protect the developer?
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10 votes

Free software and open source licenses Free software and open source licenses seek to grant additional rights, beyond those granted by copyright law. Strictly speaking, such licenses cover the acts ...

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

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'...

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Someone is violating the copyleft license, they are refusing to give me the source code even though they are required to!
10 votes

Generally speaking only the copyright holder can instigate legal action in these kinds of circumstances, since they're the party whose license is being violated. So it's not up to you to enforce the ...

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Can a novel be open source, although it does not have a source?
10 votes

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 ...

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What is the use of attaching a license like WTFPL?
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9 votes

From the WTFPL FAQ: Why is there no “no warranty” clause? The WTFPL is an all-purpose license and does not cover only computer programs; it can be used for artwork, documentation and so on. As ...

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Differences between Firefox and Iceweasel
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9 votes

In Debian, Iceweasel is Firefox once again, since March 10, 2016. There's an Iceweasel branding add-on which can be used to restore the Iceweasel branding. There are some non-cosmetic differences ...

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Can a license on a open source product expire?
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9 votes

Licenses exist to specify rights that the copyright-holder gives to license-holders; they only have meaning within the context of copyright legislation. So when copyright expires, the limitations ...

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Must author's name be included in GNU GPL v3?
8 votes

These are two different things. The file added by Github is the text of the GPL itself, which is © 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc., and may not be modified: Copyright © 2007 Free Software ...

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Confusion about derived works from an MIT License
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8 votes

The MIT license is a permissive license, which allows you to do anything you like with the licensed code, including using it in a proprietary code-base. Derivative code isn't automatically MIT-...

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Clarification of gpl v3 section 9
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7 votes

Quoting the GPL FAQ: You are not required to agree to anything to merely use software which is licensed under the GPL. You only have obligations if you modify or distribute the software. Assuming ...

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Copyright notice must be regularly updated while the project is active?
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7 votes

Since you're using the LGPL, I suggest you follow the GNU project's recommendations: your copyright notices should look like Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 cannatag and you should simply update ...

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Am I legally obligated to provide access to my open source project?
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7 votes

Creative Commons licenses aren't appropriate for software, in particular because they contain no requirement on the availability of source code. So technically (and legally) you could distribute your ...

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Are there consequences of publishing software under a free or open source license?
7 votes

You're reading too much into the analogy: "free as in speech" is by opposition to "free as in gratis", to help people understand that "free" is about freedom, not price. The FSF don't claim that free ...

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Why does the FSF make this recommendation about ranges of copyright years?
6 votes

Just because something doesn't make sense to us laypeople doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense in a court of law, which is where these types of details are decided in fine. The FSF presumably has ...

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Are there any existing licenses for a limited proprietary period, going open source in the future?
6 votes

I don't think you need a specific license to do this, you just need to specify how you're applying the existing license of your choice. Adapting the "How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs" ...

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Understanding 4th point (restriction to distribute modified source-code) of Open Source definition
6 votes

The clause is actually a historical compromise copied from the Debian Free Software Guidelines; the latter states Integrity of The Author's Source Code The license may restrict source-code from being ...

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Are there any places for abandoned repos to be transferred?
5 votes

the copyright remains with the ostensible owner attached to that account Not quite, the copyright remains with the owners of the code (the copyright owners). In fact, if the software is under an open ...

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If I'm installing a binary, where do I put the license?
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5 votes

This isn't really relevant for Open Source Stack Exchange, but as far as the installation of documentation on a Unix-style system goes, I'd simply adapt the FHS location for documentation to /usr/...

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Using open source license text verbatim without attribution
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5 votes

It depends on the license! Some licenses' texts specify what can be done with them; e.g. the GPL v3 starts with Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. http://fsf.org/ Everyone is permitted ...

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Does it make sense to have a program under the LGPL?
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5 votes

The LGPL v2.1 is specifically designed for libraries; in particular, it allows distribution of modified versions of the library only in certain circumstances (section 2), including The modified ...

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Which existing license would fit those requrirements (or how to write our own license type)?
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5 votes

Your restrictions are incompatible with open source licenses according to the open source definition, so you won't find an OSI-approved license which meets your requirements. Specifically: your first ...

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Did open source or closed source come first?
5 votes

Codified free / open source development dates back to the publications of the BSD and GPL licenses; Wikipedia dates BSD to 1988 (although the first properly free version of BSD, 4.3BSD, was released ...

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