Questions about the GNU General Public License

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73
votes
3answers
61k views

Can I use GPL software in a commercial application

I have 3 questions about the GPL here: If I use GPL software in my application, but don't modify or distribute it, do I have to release my application under the GPL? What if I modify some software ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I use GPL, LGPL, MPL licensed packages with my application and make it closed source?

I saw a company is using BusyBox and also using Gpl + Lgpl + Mpl packages on it, and then they have there own application running on it. Their application is a closed source package. You buy the ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Using GPL libraries without modification on a commercial website, do I need to make my source code available? [duplicate]

If I write a public-facing commercial website, and use a GPL javascript library and/or binaries without modifying them (such as plupload), would I be required to make the source for my website ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Does a website running modified GPL software have an obligation to release their changes? [duplicate]

If a non-profit organization runs software on its website that is modified GPL'ed software and it acknowledged to be such, do they have a legal obligation to release any changes? They are not offering ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Call GPL software from non-GPL software

Can I (legally) use a program that is released under GPL from another program that I'm writing and not have to respect the GPL (for the program I'm writing)? For example, I have a GUI that uses a ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

How is client-side javascript covered by the GPL?

If I used a GPL-licensed Javascript library in a web application, would I then have to offer source code of the whole site to anyone who downloaded and executed the Javascript lib?
17
votes
9answers
4k views

Rewriting GPL code to change license

I have found a GPL library (no dual license), which does exactly what I need. Unfortunately, the GPL license on the library is incompatible with the license of a different library I use. I have ...
6
votes
2answers
269 views

Can I, as author and copyright holder, relicense my code under a more liberal license after it has been published under a more restrictive license?

Say, for example I published my code under GPL. A month after release, I decide evil corporations (*cough*) are allowed to use my code after all, because it's so brilliant and bug-free. Can I just ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Relicense BSD 2/3-clause code to GPL

Suppose I release some source code under the new BSD license. Is it allowed for someone else to take this code, make modifications to it and distribute it under the terms of the GPL? From Wikipedia: ...
5
votes
1answer
392 views

What licensing implications (if any) are there when porting code from one language to another? [duplicate]

I'm considering taking an old PHP4 web application and re-writing it using ASP.Net MVC4 in C#. The old application was licensed under GPL2. I'm unsure how this affects my new application, if at all. ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

Avoid GPL violation by moving library out of process

Assume there is a library that is licensed under GPL. I want to use it is closed source project. I do following: Create small wrapper application around that GPL library that listens to socket, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Including a GPL-license library in a commercial Java program [duplicate]

I am in the process of helping develop a commercial Java program. We want to use a certain third-party LookAndFeel in the GUI. The problem is that the LookAndFeel library is GPL licensed. Since we are ...
7
votes
1answer
520 views

How do I dual license?

I'd like to open source a project of mine under GPL v3. Additionally, I'd like to sell a license for those who wish to use the code in a proprietary application. How do I go about releasing my ...
5
votes
2answers
347 views

can a closed source commercial software make system(3) calls to GPL applications (not libraries)?

The closed source commercial software (CSCS), will just make system(3) calls to GPL applications. The user machine will run CSCS and it will call these GPL applications, in realtime, in the very same ...
5
votes
4answers
730 views

Is running an executable as a child process the same as linking a library?

I'm planning on running an executable as a child process in my program (e.g. using Ruby's popen or C's exec() family of functions). However, the executable I'm planning on running is licensed through ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the Pros and Cons of the GPL? [closed]

I'm looking at licensing some open source software and am looking at the GPL. What are the pros and cons of using this license?
10
votes
7answers
6k views

How to get started in opensource projects and programs [duplicate]

I am interested in starting to learn how to contribute to open source projects and Linux in general. I am a first year B.Sc. Computer Science student this year and we use c++ as our main programming ...
8
votes
5answers
957 views

What are the consequences of GPL dependencies?

I am developing software for my company and I would like to use some libraries under GPL license. What could be the consequences? Does it mean that the code developed above these GPL dependencies ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Using C++/Java to develop software and sell it

I know this question has been asked here before, and I also know that this website is for programming questions only, but please do make an exception, as none of the posts I've come across on this ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Confusion about dual license (MIT/GPL) javascript for use on my website

I've read all of the posts I can find on this and I'm still not sure of the answer. I'd like to use a jQuery plugin on my website that is dual licensed under MIT and GPL. Does the dual license mean ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How does the GPL static vs. dynamic linking rule apply to interpreted languages?

In my understanding, the GPL prohibits static linking from non-GPL code to GPL code, but permits dynamic linking from non-GPL code to GPL code. So which is it when the code in question is not linked ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Are these steps enough to put my bash script under GPL 3?

I have written a bash script I would like to put under GPL v3. I've read the GNU documentation on How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs and How to use GNU licenses for your own software. ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

Can GPL-licensed software be resold?

My research group is developing some software for research purposes. The project leader wants the software to be open source and likes the GPL, but wants to ensure that they software cannot be sold. ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Rewrote GNU GPL v2 code in another language: can I change a license?

I rewrote some parts of Mercurial (which is licensed under GNU GPL v2) in C#. Naturally, I looked a lot into original Python code and some parts are direct translations from Python to C#. Is is ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I correctly sub-license a library that is under the MIT license?

How do I correctly sub-license a library that is under the MIT license. I am using and extending the library. The MIT license states that I am free to sub-license the library. Can I simply state: ...
2
votes
1answer
329 views

Do I have to release the code of a MIT licensed software running a GPL library?

Lets say I'm using Node-Webkit, an MIT licensed app runtime. Now, let's say I decide to include a Javascript library which is GPL licensed: while I do not modify the downloaded JS file, I do write my ...
2
votes
2answers
243 views

Does this BSD-like license achieve what I want it to? [closed]

I was wondering if this license is: self defeating just a clone of an existing, better established license practical any more "corporate-friendly" than the GPL too vague/open ended and finally, if ...
0
votes
3answers
340 views

Forking BSD-Project and changing license [duplicate]

Is it possible to fork a project (which I don't own) and change the license from BSD to for example LGPL / GPL / AGPL? I read it would be possible to change fork's license to something compatible to ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

Choosing a licence for open source projects

I've done some open source projects, and I plan to do more in the future. So far, I've released all my code under GPL, but I've read a few articles which claim GPL is too restrictive for any code to ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Can you change code distributed under the MIT license, and re-distribute it under the GPL license?

Is it possible to alter the code of the Chili plugin, which had its latest release on July 2008, and it is licensed under the MIT license, to then license it under GPL? As far I can see, there is no ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I safely use an open source library in an internal closed-source project?

I m thinking of using iTextSharp, which is licensed under Affero GPL, in an internal closed-source WinForms project. No one outside my company will be using it. GPL (and Affero GPL as well) ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “GPL with classpath exception” mean in practice?

Oracle seems to license all their Java-related open source code under the GPL with a classpath exception. From what I understand, this seems to allow to combine these libraries with your own code into ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it OK to learn an algorithm from an open source project, and then implement it in a closed source project?

Reference The post that started it all In order to clear up the original question I asked in a provocative manner, I have posed this question. If you learn an algorithm from an open source project, ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Must source code released under GPL be human-readable?

In a response to another question, a poster suggested that under the GPL: ...you need to provide the human readable [code], not a whitespace stripped version... Readability would seem to me to ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Running software as a service using unmodified GPL(v2+) program as a core dependency: must the SaaS source code be released?

I'm designing a software as a service project which will only be accessed online. I may have a hard dependency on an executable which is covered by GNU GPL (v2 or later). I understand that my code, ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I use this GPL'd PGP library internally in my company?

This PGP library was bought up by Network Associates and then eventually Symantec Corporation. The source code is available and is licensed under the GPL (it was linked to from here). They have a ...
3
votes
2answers
529 views

Copyright assignment on open source projects

Some time ago I wrote a BlackBerry application. I find that I now want to release it under an open source license. I am strongly considering the GPL v3 license. All the code is mine; there are no ...
3
votes
2answers
390 views

Is Selling GPL licensed Software Effective?

Let us say that someone writes a piece of software and licenses it under the GPL. Then they go on to sell it. Will this be effective? Won't someone just buy it and redistribute at a lower price? Do ...
2
votes
2answers
897 views

Distributing a proprietary application together with GPL software [closed]

First, there are many similar questions here, but I found none with direct answers about this specific scenario. If you find a duplicate, please be kind enough to link to the specific answer(s). Also, ...
11
votes
1answer
7k views

LGPL 2.1 vs LGPL 3.0 Advantages and Disadvantages

From what I've read, LGPL 3.0 allows you to use the license together with other licenses, more permissive about that(Not even sure about that). From ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a loophole in the GPL that allows proprietary software to be linked with GPL libraries?

Let’s examine a hypothetical scenario: Company X writes a proprietary program (A) that dynamically links with a proprietary library (B). Company Y wants to use a replacement library (C) licensed ...
7
votes
4answers
684 views

How should I implement my chosen software license?

I have always kind of wondered, but never took my time to actually ask these questions regarding licensing. Most of these questions are presumably pretty basic, but I have no idea what I'm dealing ...
6
votes
3answers
916 views

How to manage, in practice, licence files when combining GPL and BSD licensed code?

I am writing code that uses one library with GPL (not LGPL) license, and one with the 3-clause BSD license. Since I link to GPL-licensed library, my code will need to be GPL as well. How should I, in ...
5
votes
2answers
334 views

Does distributing non-GPLd assets with a GPL application violate the license?

This is somewhat related to my other question, but is actually different. I would like to license a Windows Phone application under the GPL. All other Windows Phone Marketplace issues aside (I'll ask ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a GPL-compatible software license for libraries which allows static linking, but requires redistribution of library source code?

I'm looking for an existing library license which satisfies the following conditions: GPL-compatible Can be statically linked with closed-source programs Binary modifications of the library, ...
5
votes
4answers
679 views

The GPL License Mixing

From the understanding that I am gradually gathering about the GPL it is not possible to mix licenses unless both have a special clause added to allow so. So how are the following possible? Let's use ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

MIT app executing a GPL command

Can my MIT/BSD licensed, open source project, or a closed source project I build and sell, execute a command, where the command is a program released under the GPL? I would not be distributing any ...
3
votes
4answers
659 views

Does a code inherit GNU GPL if it just link to GPL library?

Sorry for bad English. Suppose there is a library xxx under GNU GPL, that provide a function yyy. Suppose my code links to the library and use this function. Does my code inherit GPL license? IANAL, ...
3
votes
2answers
506 views

Proper attribution of derived work in a GPL project

This is a continuation of me rewriting GPL project. What will be the correct way of attributing my project as being a derivative of some other GPL-licensed project? So far I came up with: HgSharp ...
3
votes
1answer
782 views

Distributing my Application inside a Debian Virtual Machine Image— How to meet GPL obligations?

I have a Linux application I've developed, and I have created a standalone VMWare Image that people can download to try out the application without needing to install and configure a Linux Server. I ...