Questions about software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

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39
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
50
votes
4answers
3k views

Preparing to release code as open-source [duplicate]

I have developed a fully functional tool which I would like not only to share with anyone interested but also get support from the community. This tool is cross-platform, written in C++ with Qt, the ...
47
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there a chart for helping me decide between open-source licenses? [closed]

The Open Source Initiative lists 9 different licenses in their list of "License that are popular and widely used or with strong communities". I want to license my project as open-source. ...
30
votes
14answers
7k views

Why develop free, open source programs? [closed]

Why would someone use his own time to develop an open-source project for free and without compensation?
28
votes
4answers
21k views

Copyright notices/disclaimers in source files

It's a common practice to place copyright notices, various legal disclaimers and sometimes even full license agreements in each source file of an open-source project. Is this really necessary for a (1)...
56
votes
1answer
18k views

MIT vs. BSD vs. Dual License

My understanding is that: MIT-licensed projects can be used/redistributed in BSD-licensed projects. BSD-licensed projects can be used/redistributed in MIT-licensed projects. The MIT and the BSD 2-...
108
votes
14answers
15k views

Is it possible 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What constitutes “distributing” for LGPL v3

I am considering basing some new software on a LGPL web application. I want to utilize this new software for creating one website for my employer, and we do not intend to sell or distribute the ...
109
votes
20answers
32k views

Making money with Open Source as a developer?

I'm currently a student (Applied Information Technology) and we do most of our programming in C# and Java. I was wondering how can I as a developer, make money with open source. I know there is the ...
48
votes
2answers
4k views

Checklist for starting an open-source project [closed]

To start an open-source project is not just to throw up the source code on some public repository and then being happy with that. You should have technical (besides user) documentation, information on ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

How to promote an open-source project?

First of all, I apologize if this is the wrong section of network to post this question. If it is, please feel free to move it to more appropriate location... Question: I would like to hear your ...
152
votes
11answers
74k views

How can I find a good open source project to join? [closed]

I just started working a year ago, and I want to join an open source project for the same reasons as anyone else: help create something useful and develop my skills further. My problem is, I don't ...
10
votes
7answers
5k views

Open Source but not Free Software (or vice versa) [closed]

The definition of "Free Software" from the Free Software Foundation: “Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free ...
24
votes
1answer
4k 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?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get the word out about a new (open-source) library I've developed? [closed]

I'm finishing up a personal project in which I've implemented a library that I expect others may want to use. Without going into too much detail, the library provides a cross-platform interface for ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

Reasons NOT to open source not-for-profit code? [closed]

I am a big fan of open source code. I think I understand most of the advantages of going open source. I'm a science student researcher, and I have to work with quite a surprising amount of software ...
13
votes
1answer
544 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
697 views

Ethics and best practices when forking code base

I have a question as to the proper best practices and ethics revolving forking code. I've taken code base licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 and brought ...
21
votes
7answers
781 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 ...
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
3answers
2k views

Making money from developing Open Source Software. How does that work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Making money with Open Source as a developer? I've been hearing recently that more and more developers contribute their efforts to many open-source products. Being a novice ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Getting involved with an Open Source Project [closed]

I am heading into my senior year in computer engineering and have gotten a internship for this summer and fall. Since I will not be doing homework I would love to take this opportunity to get involved ...
50
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

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

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
740 views

How do I convince my company to contribute towards Open-Source?

I'm trying to convince the company I work for to contribute towards open-source software, specifically building a library/component for ASP.NET web apps. We have an 'Innovation Day' coming up where we ...
6
votes
4answers
769 views

How do I contribute to open source projects? [closed]

What are the mechanics of contributing to open source projects? How are they managed? What exactly is meant by submitting a patch? Should I do some reading up on advanced version control techniques?
12
votes
2answers
580 views

How to open-source a project whose git repository has copyrighted media in the history?

I want to release an audio fingerprinting software project under a free license, but the repository contains copyrighted audio files. The test cases also currently use these files. How do I release ...
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 “...
5
votes
2answers
770 views

Developer name in the copyright notice of files contributed to open source project?

I am developing a small application which I want to make open source. Currently only my work is on the application, and so in all the files I have put up a copyright notice in my name. Now when I ...
3
votes
5answers
438 views

When is it okay to open-source something? [duplicate]

When is it okay to open-source something? If I have a big project I like to publish it, but is it looked-down-upon to publish, say, a small function?
204
votes
29answers
18k views

What's the canonical retort to “it's open source, submit a patch”? [closed]

The danger of ever suggesting some feature on a product, especially open source, is that you'll get the response, "why don't you do it?". That's valid, and it's cool that you can make the change ...
24
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

“Open-source” licenses that explicitly prohibit military applications

I am a researcher, and in my research I do a lot of programming. I am a big fan of the open-source concept - especially in research, where transparency and reproducibility is already a big part of the ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How to share code as open source?

I have a little program that I wrote for a local group to handle a somewhat complicated scheduling issue for scheduling multiple meetings in multiple locations that change weekly according to certain ...
34
votes
11answers
5k views

Is it okay to make coding style changes on an open source project that doesn't follow best practices?

Recently, I came across a number of open source Ruby (or majority of it was Ruby) projects on GitHub that when checked with a code analyzing tool like Rubocop, create a lot of offenses. Now, most of ...
14
votes
2answers
860 views

How to properly license open source software

I have a project I've been working on which I would like to push into a new, public Github repository as open source. After searching on StackExchange for the right license to use I've settled on the ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Which open-source license is right for my project?

I am trying to choose the right license for a project that I would like to release as open-source later this year but I am unsure as to what the most appropriate license would be. I was originally ...
20
votes
3answers
27k views

Is Java free/open source or not?

On November 13, 2006, Sun released much of Java as free and open source software, (FOSS), under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). On May 8, 2007, Sun finished the process, making all ...
7
votes
1answer
597 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
5answers
389 views

To Open Source or Not to Open Source, that is the question [duplicate]

So, I have a couple of projects that I have been working on and I am trying to decide if I want to open source them or provide them for free as closed source. I have never "owned" an open source ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

If I fork an open source project and make improvements in the fork, will it or I offend the original authors? [duplicate]

I have identified a couple of open source projects on github.com that are not being kept up to date for many months. I have used them for personal use, and now want to make enhancements to them and ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it OK to push my code to GitHub while it is still in early development?

I have some projects that are in a very early development state. They are nowhere nearing completion but I do host them (as public repos) on GitHub because: I have multiple computers and I want ...
5
votes
3answers
478 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? ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What copyright date for an update to an open-source project from last year?

In 2011, I released some open-source code that was licensed using the Apache license. As such, all the source files have this boiler plate message at the top: /* Copyright 2011 My Name ...
4
votes
4answers
357 views

Small projects using the cathedral model: does open-source lower security?

We know of Linus' law: With enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow In general, people seem to say that open-source software is more secure because of that very thing, but... There are many small ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the best method to start understanding BIG project source code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you dive into large code bases? Sometimes before developing new products we need to understand some existing products or existing source code. Sometimes to write ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How can open source projects be successful without documentation about their design or architecture?

I want to improve my programming skills by studying famous open source projects, but I find it is easy to get lost by just jumping into their source code. So I decided to read their documentation ...
5
votes
7answers
368 views

Options for Opensource license? [duplicate]

I am choosing a license for my open source software and I've learned about GPL, EBMS and BSD. GPL seems to be most popular one. The problems are: Would anybody kindly name a few popular opensource ...
4
votes
2answers
960 views

If I use multiple third party components, using several different open source licenses, how should I attribute them?

I'm developing a Java application that utilizes several third party open source libraries. I'm adding a section to my app's "About" dialog that lists the components and their license notices. For ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

Licensing for hosted open source and 3rd party libraries

Context: We have an ASP.NET MVC3 codebase, hosted on CodePlex, currently in the "setup period". This codebase uses several NuGet packages (without changes or additions to the source, just "using" the ...