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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9
votes
2answers
589 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
votes
3answers
1k 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
6k 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
466 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
291 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
7answers
2k views

Copying a competitor's database schema? [closed]

I am going to be releasing some software soon which will require users to run a local database. There is a competitor in the space that is doing the same thing and they have a pretty sophisticated ...
8
votes
6answers
604 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
votes
3answers
4k views

Which is the most permissive open-source license? [closed]

Which is the most permissive open-source license available? "Permissive" would be defined as "the minimal requirements about how the software can be redistributed".
8
votes
7answers
364 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
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
459 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
773 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
458 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
votes
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
7answers
527 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
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
155 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
2answers
456 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
237 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
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
4answers
506 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
votes
4answers
813 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
votes
1answer
142 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
860 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
6k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
1k views

How are GPL-compatible licenses like MIT usable in GPL programs without being subject to the copyleft provision?

I'm currently examining the possibilities and implications of linking against a GPL library for an application in a commercial context. From what I've understood of the GPL, as long as the ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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
votes
4answers
523 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 ...
7
votes
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
votes
5answers
7k 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
votes
6answers
796 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
331 views

Submitting software to a competition, it becomes their property?

So I'm about to submit a game to a competition, but as I looked through the rules a chunk grabbed my attention: All Entries become the sole and exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

I made an HTML5/Javascript game. Do I have to license it?

So I created an HTML5/Javascript online game. I host it on my website for anyone to play for free. I am still currently working on it. Do I need to license my game? And if so, what license do you ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What does the Apache licensing mean by “Permitted: Commercial Use”

At choosealicense.com/licenses I am reading the Apache licensing, and see that under Permitted there stands Commercial Use: This software and derivatives may be used for commercial purposes. ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Downgrading from GPL v3 to GPL v2

I have this issue with licensing. I downloaded a third-party class from GitHub and it's under the GPL v3 license. However, I used this class on another open-source project which is under the GPL v2 ...
7
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
867 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?
7
votes
1answer
5k views

the decisive difference between LGPL and AGPL

What is the decisive difference between LGPL(v3) and AGPL(v3) ? Both can be used in commercial production, both can also be packed within a payed product. As long as I do not change the source code ...
7
votes
1answer
819 views

Is a license header in source-files required?

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Which licenses are free for commercial use?

I'm lost in a mass of licences - GPL, LGPL, Creative Commons, BSD, Apache, etc, and looking for a beginners guide. When using a component under a popular licence like these, what are the restrictions ...
7
votes
2answers
270 views

Using an LGPL licensed library that may or may not include GPL licensed code from an MIT licensed library

I have read this question on SO, but it doesn't appear to answer my question fully. I maintian a library which is licensed under the MIT License. In my MIT licensed library, I dynamically link ...
7
votes
1answer
584 views

Can a programmer renounce ownership of source code? [closed]

I came across this license: /** * The author disclaims copyright to this source code. In place of * a legal notice, here is a blessing: * * May you do good and not evil. * May you find ...