Questions about the GNU General Public License

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15
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2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
55
votes
2answers
43k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How is client-side javascript covered by the GPL?

If I used a GPL-licensed Javascript libarary 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?
15
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
4
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
305 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Including a GPL-license library in a commercial Java program

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
28
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
4k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
4k 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, ...
8
votes
5answers
814 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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) ...
7
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
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
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
370 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
496 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
8
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, ...
5
votes
2answers
294 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
925 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
589 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
190 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
522 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
478 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
1answer
704 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

GPL - Writing an exception for a plugin interface under section 7 of GPLv3

The problem I've written a application for Android licensed under GPLv3 which needs to use Google Play Services, a proprietary library, as a plugin to the app. Now I'd also like to add libspotify as ...
2
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
845 views

How do I stay compliant with GPL when forking on Github?

I've recently forked a project on Github and made some modifications to it, pushed them back to the forked repository and asked the original developer to pull the changes. (I gather this is the ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Use my own GPL licensed code in a commercial product

I am developing a software project in Java/Swing licensed under GPL v3. Later, I want to create a Android application which uses the algorithms of the Java/Swing application. This Android app will be ...
7
votes
2answers
877 views

Can a GPLv2 program rely on Apache-licensed libraries?

Can a software program licensed GPL (version 2) rely upon libraries licensed under APLv2 without running afoul of the GPL? The language here suggests to me perhaps not. In my specific case I'm ...
7
votes
4answers
574 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
201 views

Can I use GPL code as textual data in my app?

In essence, I'm wondering how licenses affect the legality of using source code as data. By that I mean literally storing code in a database as strings and using it e.g. for some syntax highlighting ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What would happen if a bit of GPL code sneaked into the Windows source code? [closed]

Imagine that an unfaithful (or maybe careless) employee at Microsoft managed to sneak in three lines of GPL code into a the core of a distribution of Windows. Wouldn't this mean that Microsoft would ...
5
votes
3answers
341 views

How should I go about re-releasing a GPL-licensed project?

A few months ago we found a library licensed under GPL that fit the bill for what we were looking to do at that time. We included it in our codebase and all was fine. Now, a few frantic months of ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Could Apple and Microsoft allow the GPLv3 on their locked-down devices?

It seems that both Apple and Microsoft prohibit GPLv3-licensed software in the app stores for their locked-down devices (i.e. iOS, Windows Phone and the Metro part of Windows). I have heard various ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

GPL License - Selling and Stealing

I understand that when any software under the GPL is given to another the recipient has the same rights over the software that I do. I also understand that this applies to "a work based on the ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

Dual licensing with GPL library

I have a question concerning derivative works of GPL'ed software. Imagine the following situation: A company writes a software (A) using a library (B) which is released under the terms of the GPL. Now ...
4
votes
4answers
668 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 ...