I am a commercial software developer and I want to make use of open-source in my proprietary software.
As I understand the concept of copy-left, it uses the original authors copyright to ensure that their ultimate end users (which would include my customers) are not deprived of benefits of the original work that the original authors of the OS components intended for them to have.
I also understand that there is an incentive to produce more free software and I often find that sites that clarify and recommend various licensing terms are mixing the legalities with the ideology.
All I am asking for is a clear picture. The people who want to create OS exclusively for other OS projects should be allowed to do so. The people who want to put code out there for anybody to use should be allowed to do so. Also, there are many claims which have no legal precedence and are not as clear cut as authors of OS interest sites would like them to be.
And we all know that code is not just code.
There is a difference between:
- Copying somebodys source code into your source code.
- Consuming a library compiled as-is from github.
- Consuming a library compiled from a locally altered version from github.
Let's pretend that I use an open source library for accessing Excel spreadsheets. It makes sense that I would contribute back bugfixes/additions etc that had anything to do with the general problem of accessing excel spreadsheets. This is to make an excel plugin for an application that already accepts XML, SQL db etc as alternative input mechanisms for the same data.
** Does this mean that the application is considered "derivative" even when it does not expand into the problem domain of importing excel sheets? **