I am developing a commercial consumer product and around 90 percent of the development is software related.

Maybe even more to be completely honest.

Some components of my software uses open source software and with this comes the responsibility to expose credits of the source of the components somewhere, in text, that is visible to the users.

This exposure is also called as an "acknowledgement" or "acknowledgement file.

I have a few questions regarding this, mostly about how strict the rules and laws around this.

First I need to explain where my software is located.

The software I have developed is actually several pieces of softwares for different platforms.

  • iOS app used by iOS users
  • Android app used by android users
  • Linux application pre-installed on my product

My questions are:

  1. Can I collect all of the acknowledgements in to one single file and expose it in one common place such as my product website, such as inside the the Support page on the website for my product?

  2. Do I have to expose each platform-specific acknowledgment file inside each and every software?

For example: The iOS app uses components X, Y and Z. The Android app uses component A, B and C. The Linux application uses component I, J, H.

Does the iOS app have to have the acknowledgements of X, Y and Z and the Android app and Linux application respectively for their components, or can I put them all in one place?

  • Could indicate what licenses these open source components are under? – Viktor Jan 13 '16 at 14:04
  • Well there are many many different licenses and I haven't gone through them all but it is the common ones, MIT, Mozilla, GPL etc. – vaid Jan 13 '16 at 14:11
  • Most likely for those licenses you'll also have to republish the modified source code. For the acknowledgement, just have a copyrights options somewhere in the program that lists all the copyrights used. – Viktor Jan 13 '16 at 14:15
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    Opensource.SE might be able to give you much more detailed answers. From what I can gather anything you distribute separately needs its separate copyrights description. Most likely you're not distributing android and iOS apps together. – Viktor Jan 13 '16 at 14:16
  • Oh ok. So basically: If I modify code that is under a certain license I also need to republish the changes of the code. However if I just use the code as-is I only need to acknowledge the original source. Is that correct? – vaid Jan 13 '16 at 14:20

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