Questions about the implementation of software licenses on software, including questions about open-source licenses. See the full description for more information about which questions are on topic.

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2answers
966 views

How can a company sell licenses for GPLed software without violating rights of others [duplicate]

There are tons of questions like "Can I use GPLed code X in my commercial project?" but I found nothing which answers my question. I take ExtJS as an example, but actually you can any commercial / ...
9
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2answers
4k views

Am I allowed to create closed-source software with open-source code?

I was using a popular music package (Ableton Live) when I opened the legal section of the helpfile and saw that the program contained code licenses that appeared to be both free as in freedom and free ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Paid open-source app

The question that bothers me is whether it is possible/feasible/reasonable to expect for an open-source app to sell well on the mobile market? Should I believe that my users will use my app, rather ...
9
votes
3answers
844 views

Copyrighting software, templates, etc. under real name or screen name?

My question is hopefully simple--should I copyright my work (art, software, web design, etc.) under my real name or my screen name? My real name and screen name are also easily connected with a bit of ...
9
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4answers
527 views

Code licensing question. Client stole my code

A client I did a project for accidentally ended up with the source code of said project. Stupid i know. The arrangement was that they would get the product, never the source code. However, obviously, ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between WTFPL, CC0, and public domain?

What's the difference between WTFPL, CC0, and public domain? Are they essentially the same thing?
9
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3answers
9k 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 ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What are the licensing requirements for shipping Java along with application

We have an application in Java. Now we want to export this application to clients (free of charge). Can we ship JRE7 along the application (precaution as client might not have Java installed). Is it ...
9
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2answers
523 views

Does a BSD-licensed project need a signed statement from each contributor?

Today I read on Fossil SCM's mailing list: The problem with BSD is that you really should get a signed form from each contributor stating that their contribution is BSD. This is automatic with ...
9
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4answers
865 views

I have a previous invention (software / framework) that I plan to use on my new job. What happens to my copyright if I improve it during the job?

I have filled that standard form where you list your previous inventions before starting your new job so the employer is legally aware you have the copyright over them. But if I want to use this ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Mozilla Public License (MPL 2.0) vs Lesser GNU General Public License (LGPL 3.0)

I would like to release a software library written in a class-based, object-oriented programming language (Java) on a web-based source code hosting service, that allows forks of the project to be ...
9
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2answers
609 views

Do I need to paste open source license information at the top of my webpage?

I'm developing a JavaScript application that uses several open source JavaScript projects. All their licenses have a phrase like "You must give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a ...
9
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2answers
257 views

How to manage copyright notices from contributors to a BSD licensed project

We have the following BSD license in the LICENSE file: Copyright (c) 2006-2016 SymPy Development Team All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the legal considerations when forking a BSD-licensed project?

I'm interested in forking a project released under a two-clause BSD license: Copyright (c) 2010 {copyright holder} All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Java: legal issues related to writing a commercial app in Java [closed]

I developed scientific software for use in my own scientific research. I am considering porting it to another language such as Java, and releasing a closed-source, commercial version of it for sale. ...
9
votes
1answer
489 views

Java GNU Licensing [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can we use Java for commercial use? I am a college student learning how to program in Java. I really like Java's simiplicity and portability and I would like to one day ...
9
votes
1answer
419 views

Are Microsoft fonts like Impact safe to use in Open Source projects?

I made an open source project that requires the use of the Impact.ttf font from Microsoft. I looked around but couldn't find a definite license option for MIT projects. Do Microsoft's fonts (like ...
8
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5answers
1k views

Can the author of code licensed under CC-NC-ND use it in commercial closed-source software?

I am working on project on which I need to open-source part of my code in order to simplify extension by the enduser. What I want, is to make an npm module, that will expose part of my code, so my ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Do I have to release my code as open source if I use Git?

This is a question focused on the legal aspects of software licensing. I am starting to develop a proeject want the option to claim the source code as properitary and retain full copy rights. I like '...
8
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6answers
611 views

When do you typically write a software module yourself vs. buying an existing product?

I'm trying to find out your decision rationale of when to do what. Would be great to learn from you. I'm happy to provide more context, but I want to make it general for now.
8
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7answers
382 views

Which software licenses should I be aware of? [closed]

Licensing is something that I really haven't paid any attention to; I guess I felt there was no need. However I can't but help thinking that I should. So which are the most common licenses that I, as ...
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
8
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4answers
553 views

Is there a difference between “self-plagiarizing” in programming vs doing so as a writer? [closed]

I read this Gawker article about how a writer reused some of his older material for new assignments for different magazines. Is there any similar ethical (societal?) dilemma when doing the same ...
8
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3answers
516 views

What is the difference between releasing code under the BSD license and releasing it as public domain?

You are free to use BSD licensed code for anything, even commercial, closed source software. How is that any different than just releasing it as public domain?
8
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3answers
436 views

Should companies require developers to credit code they didn't write?

In academia, it's considered cheating if a student copies code/work from someone/somewhere else without giving credit, and tries to pass it off as his/her own. Should companies make it a requirement ...
8
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3answers
462 views

Why contribute to non-free open source projects?

As a owner of an open source project you'd want people to contribute and make it better, right? But if you then decide to throw on a nice tasty licencing model for people to use the software [...
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the best practice for arranging third-party library licenses “paperwork”?

I am developing a small open source project. The application uses many third-party libraries released with a range of licenses: Apache, MIT, BSD, LGPL and CDDL. Each of these licenses has its own “...
8
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7answers
537 views

Is there an open source license for this?

I have written code at home, on my own time and using my own knowledge and equipment, while under no contract or NDA. I want to make this code open source so that I can use it in software I write for ...
8
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2answers
173 views

Why does the LGPL require combined works to include a copy of the GPL?

I was reading through the LGPL license and found a requirement that I was previously unaware of. Section 4 (Combined Works) states: You may convey a Combined Work [...] if you also do each of the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a license header in source files required when applying the Apache Software License 2.0 to a project?

Reading through the Apache Software License 2.0 appendix I am left unclear what exactly I have to do now: APPENDIX: How to apply the Apache License to your work To apply the Apache License to ...
8
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1answer
242 views

What if I forgot to include someone elses copyright info in old commit?

Assume I have a public source code repository. Am I violating copyright laws if there's any old commit where I have not yet added all copyright info for other people's open source code? Details: ...
8
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2answers
4k 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, ...
8
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2answers
1k views

For open-source licenses with an acknowledgement clause, how obvious does the notice need to be?

In licenses such as that of libjpeg and freetype, there are clauses like the following: (2) If only executable code is distributed, then the accompanying documentation must state that "this ...
8
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2answers
3k views

What are the requirements for attribution in the MIT License?

choosealicense.com claims that the MIT license is “A permissive license that is short and to the point. It lets people do anything with your code with proper attribution and without warranty” (...
8
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1answer
298 views

Are there good places to link people to for software licenses “in plain english” similar to how Creative Commons does?

If you click the cc-wiki link at the bottom of this site, you get a nice plain-english description of what you are and are not allowed to do. The legal stuff is there too, but as someone looking to ...
8
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4answers
512 views

If I post my source code on a public site, does that automatically make it open source or do I still preserve my rights?

This is a weird question but here is why: If I write some JavaScript application, or Perl/Python/PHP cli script, anyone can see the source code. I can even host my code on a public hosting site, like ...
8
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4answers
882 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Software license restricting commercial usage like CC BY-NC-SA

I want to distribute my software under license like Creative Commons Attribution - Non commercial - Share Alike license, i.e. Redistribution of source code and binaries is freely. Modified version ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there a graph with FOSS licenses detailing what can be linked with what?

I'm looking for a chart like this: Basically something that tells you whether an app with a given license can be linked with a library of a given license. Does such a thing exist?
8
votes
1answer
941 views

Open Source license compatibility checker

Is there a tool available for checking if various combinations of open source licenses are compatible with each other? I'm planning on building various tools that use an Apache license for ...
8
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3answers
1k 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 ...
7
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5answers
8k views

How can I create my own software license? [closed]

I have seen numerous licenses for any kind of software such as the GNU GPL, BSD License, MIT License, and LGPL. What is the process for creating a new software license, such as "John Doe's generic ...
7
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7answers
1k views

How to use Open Source Licenses and what do you recommend to me

I have a code that I'd like to share, but I'd like to publish it using an open source license. But I don't know how you have to use that licenses. How do you have to activate an open source license? ...
7
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4answers
2k views

What constitutes a programming language and how does one copyright a programming language?

I've decided to create a programming language of my own, mostly just for fun. However, I got interested in the legal aspect of it all. You can, for example, licence specific programs under specific ...
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5answers
3k views

Can I sell forked GPL code?

I know that it is possible to sell GPL code, but I wanted to know if it was possible to sell GPL code that has been forked and modified. The forked and modified code will still be available to use, ...
7
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2answers
4k 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
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5answers
8k 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 ...
7
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6answers
848 views

Using an open source non-free license

Are there any projects/products out there that use an open source license that basically says "free for small companies" and "cost money for larger companies" in addition to "make modifications ...