3
votes
2answers
314 views

How can I close my Open Source project and what is required from me in order to make it closed source?

Let's say I wanted to close my "GPL v 2.0 (or similar)" licensed project, to which I'm the only contributor, and make it closed source. Do I still need to make the existing "GPL v 2.0 (or similar)" ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Choosing name for open-source project — how to view existing trademarks/names used for other programs? [closed]

I'm trying to choose a good name for a new open-source project. The problem is, there is already so much software in the world that Google search reveals one or more existing programs with every good ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Is “poaching” an acceptable way to get open-source volunteers?

It is well known that tech companies frequently try to recruit employees from competitors. However, is it common for open-source projects to seek potential volunteers from companies in similar ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Linking against LGPL - How to share the code?

I'm working on an Open Source software project (LGPL) which uses another LGPL-licensed software. To make it easier for users and developers I'm delivering and linking against the compiled thirdparty. ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Can the GitHub pull request process constitute an electronic signature of a CLA?

I appreciate the need for a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) in open source software projects and even understand that some tools are starting to make this process easier (like the low-friction ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

When using the Apache license, is there still a need for a Contributor License Agreement (CLA)?

I can certainly see the need for CLAs with a terser license like MIT or BSD, but the more verbose Apache seems to already have that type of verbiage in it. I would prefer to not add this level of ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Release as open source after granting usage rights?

I have written software and have granted usage rights to different companies per contract. Is it possible to change the software licence to an open source licence afterwards? At what circumstances is ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

What to do if my own opensource code greatly resembles another project's code?

I'm writing a Java class, part of an opensource game development framework under the Apache 2.0 license. There is another framework, under the same license, that happens to also have a Java class ...
6
votes
4answers
896 views

Does an Open Source license exist that allows me to retain rights to revoke usage of software/source at any time, for any reason, and without warning?

Does an Open Source license exist that allows me to retain rights to revoke usage of software/source at any time, for any reason, and without warning? I want to allow others to use my software and ...
11
votes
5answers
761 views

Would copyrights drop if I re-write open source project into another language?

I have re-written an open source project from java to haxe, then from haxe compiled to javascript, with totally different UI So, the question is, is the code considered to be mine after rewriting it ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Is there a tool or process to help FOSS authors agree on a license? [closed]

The Evercookie project has several contributors and there is no explicit license for the code. There is currently discussion on the dev mailing list trying to figure out what the licensing options ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Is this an open source license?

I have been messing with code in The Unix Archive and have found that most of the code references a (non existent) license, however, this is in the root of the mirrors and apparently covers all of the ...
1
vote
1answer
207 views

License Requirements for Including Dual-Licensed Open-Source Software

How do you opt into one software license and not the other when the distributor gives the consumer more than one choice? For example I would like to use the DataTables JavaScript library in my web ...
1
vote
2answers
185 views

GPL and OpenJDK: Questions regarding source headers

I have some legal questions regarding OpenJDKs source header: /* * Copyright (c) 1997, 2008, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. * DO NOT ALTER OR REMOVE COPYRIGHT NOTICES OR THIS ...
2
votes
2answers
357 views

Is there a license for selling a software with the sources so buyer can make modifications without claiming ownership of the code or distributing it?

I would like to sell a software that has some open source competitors. Therefore I would like to include the source code with the binaries so that the company buying it can modify it as it wishes. The ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What exactly does the condition in the MIT license imply?

To quote the license itself: Copyright (C) [year] [copyright holders] Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated ...
3
votes
3answers
231 views

Developing software for a company outside a company [closed]

I work for an IT company as a developer. We are currently working on a large software project, a multi-vendor automatic database clustering solution. We've upheld good coding standards and as a result ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

Software Licensing Particulars

I have spent a lot of time examining the various (major) software licenses and ultimately have decided upon using the MIT Licenses for my open source projects, and the Microsoft Reference License ...
6
votes
3answers
282 views

How to get a legal advice for a open source project ? [closed]

I have a question about open source software. Questions: Where do you get legal advice from? Do you have to find a lawyer specialised in software issues right from the bat, or do you get legal ...
3
votes
2answers
330 views

CodePlex and Google Code Concerns

I was wondering about the risks involved with hosting on Microsoft CodePlex and Google Code. Let's say I host a project on one of them and it ends up taking off and getting tons of downloads. I was ...
6
votes
3answers
546 views

Does using GCC specific builtins qualify as incorporation within a project?

I understand that linking to a program licensed under the GPL requires that you release the source of your program under the GPL as well, while the LGPL does not require this. The terminology of the ...
1
vote
3answers
293 views

Is making my own copyright licence safe?

I've seen various open source libraries (actually I've seen it for assets as well) having a home-baked license in the following manner : SomeGuy's License:1. You can use this code freely in ...
5
votes
3answers
216 views

Choosing a restrictive license to be in compliance, but not enforcing it

I'm very curious about this: Lets say that you have to use the GPL in your library because some dependency uses it or (if your library is fork) the upstream library uses GPL. Now GPL doesn't play well ...
3
votes
1answer
328 views

How to deal with the MPL in a pragmatic way?

Until recently I always avoided the use of open-source code in my applications, because of the legal headache it gives me. I rather spent a fair amount of money and not worry about attribution (since ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Is it OK to include another person's open-source module in a project that you are uploading to GitHub?

This seems like it would be an obvious "yes". However, I just want to be sure and I've tried googling around to no avail. I am learning Python/Django and uploading all of the projects I'm creating to ...
3
votes
3answers
240 views

Software licenses in practice

Almost all questions and information on both SO and "Google" describes how different licenses works and what license to choose for your work? But how do they work in reality. Almost everyone I have ...
7
votes
4answers
413 views

Where can I find a legal “permission to work on open source” document?

One of the things I really like about my current job is that we developers are encouraged to make open source contributions. However, this encouragement has always been verbal. I've read some horror ...
9
votes
4answers
386 views

On the frontier between work and home

I think we've all been there: You hear of someone say "hey, wouldn't it be nice if platform X had feature Y?" You look around (on SO!), the feature really doesn't exist, even though it probably would ...
49
votes
13answers
2k views

Is it legal to recreate/opensource a program that you previously coded for another company

At my previous job I created a generic dashboard for automating tasks and it that turned out to be quite useful - and of course my previous employer owns all the code I wrote while I worked there. Now ...
0
votes
4answers
327 views

Is it possible to make something open-source without publishing it?

I've been working on some piece of software while being "employed" by company A. I now want to continue working on the same software while being employed by company B. Company B wants the software to ...
6
votes
5answers
203 views

Can I use the test suite from an open source project to verify that my own 'compatible library' is compatible?

The question Is it illegal to rewrite every line of an open source project in a slightly different way, and use it in a closed source project? makes me wonder what would be considered a clean-room ...
86
votes
14answers
9k views

Is it illegal to rewrite every line of an open source project in a slightly different way, and use it in a closed source project?

There is some code which is GPL or LGPL that I am considering using for an iPhone project. If I took that code (JavaScript) and rewrote it in a different language for use on the iPhone would that be ...
3
votes
4answers
554 views

Selling an open source project: some issues

I am the creator / main developer of a small sized open source (PHP) project (GPL3). Currently there is a development team of 3 people (me included). This team has been quite active for some time, but ...
2
votes
3answers
319 views

Charging for Open-Source

Is it viable to charge for an open-source product? Both legally and financially, it seems like a very strange thing to do. However, I keep hearing people say that it's possible. Are there even any ...
1
vote
3answers
88 views

Mixed licencing for an application

I'm currently writing an application which I am thinking of open sourcing once I'm out of beta. However, I would like to maintain ownership of the icons and other graphics (they're actually the work ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it legal for me to contribute to open source software while employed?

I work for a large corporation and I want to keep my skills fresh. I think contributing to an open source project would help, especially if I ever want a job at a startup. I have heard that large ...
4
votes
4answers
352 views

What's the canonical retort to “You can't submit a patch to this open source project because you're not a committer”?

Some projects only allow committers to submit patches because they wish to keep their IP "clean." not only can non-committers not submit patches, but committers are forbidden from looking at your code ...
5
votes
3answers
346 views

What is the preferred way to protect ownership of one's code (e.g. copyright, licenses, etc)

I posted some open source code on soureforge, and someone got in contact with me stating they intended to use my algorithms for a commercial product. I don't want this to happen, what should I do? ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Hobbyist programmer releasing software with a donate button

I'd like to start this with a disclaimer that I realize that a full, clear-cut answer should be sought out by a lawyer. I am more so curious about what other users of this community have done Say ...
14
votes
8answers
489 views

Do licenses matter if there's nobody around to enforce them?

Suppose that the original creators can't (or won't) enforce a license on their software/code, but that work is still popular. I guess if you want to visualize it, I'll throw out a convoluted ...
2
votes
1answer
383 views

How would somebody uphold a license on “illegal” code?

First off, I want to say that this is purely hypothetical; it's just a scenario that came to mind. I am not looking for personal legal advice, but rather, I'm trying to gain a better understanding of ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

What is the “default” software license?

If I release some code and binaries, but I don't include any license at all with it, what are the legal terms that apply by default (in the US, where I am). I know that I automatically have copyright ...
9
votes
1answer
308 views

License requirements for including open source software

In an open source project, a number of other open source libraries have been included to implement needed functionality, some as libraries (LGPL), and some as source code (non-LGPL). The new BSD ...
20
votes
7answers
712 views

Does making source code available affect your ability to generate revenue?

We’re working on a .Net framework which ultimately amounts to a single DLL. We intend to charge for commercial use of the framework, but make it free for open source/non-commercial use. The rough ...