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Questions tagged [open-source-software]

For questions about open source software, which is licensed under an open source license. Generally, the source code is made available, and it provides a set of terms to allow others to use it. You may want to consider asking your question at Open Source Stack Exchange as well.

30
votes
3answers
8k views

Can an open source licence be revoked if it violates employer's IP?

Suppose a developer's contract says that all intellectual property (IP) rights to her code belong to her UK employer. While employed, she develops a library and open-sources it under the Apache 2.0 ...
21
votes
2answers
10k views

Can a user sell my software (MIT license) without modification?

Basically, I was just wondering if I release a piece of open source software under the MIT license, does that mean that someone could take it and sell it onto people without doing any modification to ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Distribute Licensed library with stripped code [closed]

I am currently having a bit of a struggle. I wrote a software that uses some methods from Mojangs Minecraft Server Software. The project is open source and I want to compile, test, etc. my project ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Do copyright notices need to be placed at the beginning of a file?

I'm a student and won't be publishing code any time soon, but I am working on improving the composition of my code. I'm interested in open source and I've only seen copyright notices and license text ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Are computer generated error messages subject to copyright?

In firefox, it throws up a generated error in response to the website that im creating (which is my work). can i then copy and paste part of that error into my program as part of a solution im writing?...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

OpenJDK. Could the license legally be changed to a commercial one?

I am aware of the new commercial licensing model for Oracle JDK. I also have operational experience with OpenJDK and Oracle JDK. I have tried to find conclusive evidence that Open JDK can and must ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Selling License Exceptions using CLA

I am working on an open-source software project in academia. It is currently licensed under a modified BSD-style license that allows only unmodified, non-commercial usage. We are currently considering ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Open Source Contributor License Agreements / Apache2 and patents

Many CLAs contain the below clause that is more or less taken from the Apache2 license: Grant of Patent License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, You hereby grant to ACME ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Are there any AGPL-style licences that require source code modifications to be public?

So my understanding of the AGPL, is that it requires modifications to be distributed to the users of the network service, but I'm looking for a licence that would require any modifications (non-...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a copyright notice with a non-existent name invalid?

If a person changes their name, do any copyrights registered to them still apply? Or at least, as this is the subject in mind, does any software licensed to them still hold the same copyright?
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Can i legally claim to own a derivative Open Source project?

The Apache license states the following: You must cause any modified files to carry prominent notices stating that You changed the files. However if i rewrote the original source can i ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Copyright or protecting my code written in open source language

We have a business that has become successful, the platform is a very customized build of Drupal where we integrate many different APIs and have a lot of custom code, mostly in PHP. Drupal and PHP are ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

How to enforce GPL if the copyright holder doesn't have access to the source code of violating software?

I'd like to publish a C library project that I have written on GitHub and license it under GPL, so I am doing some research on open source licenses and some confusion comes to mind. Let's say Evil ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Question about MIT license usage

In my documentation, I have to use some external content (along with my own content) that is under the MIT license. According to the MIT license, I have to mention their license information in each ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

IP ownership in software contract clauses

Many software contract templates will say something along the lines of "All intellectual property [...] that is developed or produced under this Agreement, will be the sole property of the Client." ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

MIT License - Footer Link and Paid Removal Option

I have developed a small web app we want to release for free to the public. We want to leave a link in the footer of the web app to our website and perhaps have a small charge to remove the link that ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Removing Developer Name From Software

I have recently found someone that is using software that I released on GitHub under the Apache License 2.0. The software is a Discord bot that includes a dashboard. I also have the following in the ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Must I always ask permission if I use code someone other wrote?

I was told that it might be useful to publish something on Github to get a job. I was wondering if there are any copyright issues here: Suppose I got an idea of a small program. I do it mostly by my ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Can I use my own Open Source code in commercial software I'm writing?

If I release some code that I wrote myself with an Open Source license (a WordPress plugin with the GPL2 license, https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html), can I then use my own code in commercial ...
3
votes
2answers
34 views

Open Source Contributor Agreements and Consideration

Some Open Source projects require their contributors to execute so called Contributor Agreements. The content of these agreements vary, but many address contributors right to make the contribution and ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Who, at a company, is allowed to release code under (open source) license?

Suppose I wanted to release some code I wrote for my employer as an open source project, who at the company would be allowed to do that in the eyes of the law? I ask about open source, but I suppose ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Is it legal for manufacturers to lock bootloaders on Android phones?

Some backgroud : A bootloader is a very low level piece of software that runs first and loads an operating system of some other tool. On a lot of new Android devices the bootloader is "locked", that ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Does publishing code under open-source license remove property rights?

I have done substantial work on some software that I plan to continue to develop and improve during the course of my next employment. The contract has something to the effect of All code created ...
2
votes
4answers
127 views

How are open source licenses valid without consideration?

I'm not a lawyer or law student in any capacity, but I've read in multiple sources that a contract is not valid unless there is consideration for both parties. With this in mind, how can licenses for ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

Open source licenses and auxiliary content

Apparently, images and other auxiliary content can be licensed with typical software licenses such as MIT. Let's assume the following: I have a repository with different kinds of files I want to ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Can creating a web scraper be illegal? [duplicate]

Let me start with specifying that I'm not asking about the act of web scraping itself, neither the use of the data obtained through that method. What I'm asking exactly in simple terms: Can I be ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Re-Releasing, Re-Naming and Re-Writing Open Source GNU V3 Licensed software

MAIN QUESTION SUMMARY: Can someone with real world experience, who has actually Modified, Re-Wrote, Re-Released and Re-Named Open Source GNU V3 Licensed software; please share their experience on the ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Do I have to link to the glyphicon website?

The Bootstrap homepage states : Glyphicons Halflings are normally not available for free, but their creator has made them available for Bootstrap free of cost. As a thank you, we only ask that you ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

JetBrains Student Licenses - OSS allowed?

According to this question(and the license agreement) : Am I allowed to use a students license for my Bachelor Thesis at work? I may not use JetBrains IDE's which I have access to using an "...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Can a professor patent and license a technology if the development used software with non-commerical license?

Suppose a professor or student at a university uses software like Rosetta (a protein folding software) for their research. Rosetta has free academic licenses as well as paid commercial licenses ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Does software API copyrightability extend across programming languages?

I was initially going to post this on softwareengineering.stackexchange but after some research I believe this might be more on topic here. I was recently faced with the problem of needing an open ...
0
votes
0answers
96 views

Modifying Open Source System Files to Cheat

I am asking this question primarily as a follow up to this question: Is creating and selling "cheats" or "hacks" for games illegal? The consensus in that question seems that it is ...
4
votes
1answer
315 views

Do international sanctions have an impact on Open Source Software?

Background Recently I was reading about embargoes and sanctions on Iran (also this link) and before Sudan, and it got me thinking about how they could impact Open Source Software. Sanctions being ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Legality of Forking Open Source Projects

Are there any legal issues with forking an open source project and putting your own name and spin on it? I am talking specifically about projects that are operating under the MIT or Creative Commons ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Copyright on code from public source

Let's imagine consultancy A develops a code for client B that use some free available code from a website so it's a derivative work from the free code (MIT license). Can consultancy A re-use the same ...
5
votes
2answers
210 views

Is it legal to open source a spyware?

I have created a simple spyware on which whenever a form is submitted on any website, it will serialize the form data then send the data to my email address. I am only currently using it on my own ...
-4
votes
1answer
83 views

possible problems when removing a license

Specifically speaking of free software licenses, and particularly speak of Blende.org / Blender 2.7xx. I want to know what happens if I withdraw the license and / or replace it with another one. I am ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Is it legal to require registration to obtain US Government software or data?

Is it legal to require registration to obtain US Government software or data? For example, if a government web site makes you put in an email address before you can access public data or public ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What license model to use for disclosing the source code of a paid software product? [closed]

I am developing and selling a piece of software over the internet. Recently a customer has asked me for a copy of the source code, so he can add custom features and maybe also assist to fix bugs. He ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

Appending to a creative commons license [closed]

I'm currently developing a game for which I want to document my experience with online through my website. On the site, one of things I want to offer anyone who subscribes to my mailing list is access ...
4
votes
3answers
244 views

How to legally contribute to open source projects (and other public stuff) in Germany?

Being a software developer it is very important to contribute to public projects and participate in public professional activities. This includes open source projects (which may belong to other ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Open source encryption library pose export compliance

I am developing an app which will encrypt users files , photos etc. I use the open source library RNCryptor to do the operation . Does this make my app require export compliance ? . Does the export ...
0
votes
4answers
129 views

Is a software license still valid, if it claims copyright for previous years?

I had a FOSS project with a license which first mentioned "Copyright 2016". Then year 2017 came, and I replaced it with "Copyright 2017". After a while, I realized my mistake and replaced it with "...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Is the WTFPL globally valid?

Reading the comments to the answer of this question, it seems that the Unlicense presents legal problems in countries like Germany. This is because German law doesn't permit simply waiving all ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Copying documentation and images from apache2 license

I am software developer and I wrote framework that is based on the same concepts as framework that is available in different language. This framework is under Apache2 License and I want to copy big ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Using Qt with LPGL license for a revenue generating, non-distributed private project

I am planning on porting my Python based TradingBot to C++ due to Python's GIL limitation. I have looked up a few c++ libraries like boost and Qt. I'm more inclined to use Qt because of its excellent ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What's the legal state of a data learnt from open-source datasets?

Is it legal to make a software to "learn" from open-source datasets like Freebase or WordNet and use it to build an open-source knowledge-base system? Freebase license (CC-BY) - Require credit and ...
1
vote
1answer
18 views

Does GNU General Public License Persist When Changing Source Code Language

Recently I rewrote a very small PHP program (~300 lines) under the GNU General Public License into an equivalent C# program and it made me curious where the new program I wrote stands legally. Is the ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Are open-source developers protected to a greater extent from liability in the event of security breach involving their software?

I'm studying for the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) exam and am confused by some statements that were made regarding cloud application security. Specifically a statement on proprietary ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Open source crypto project wallet and its liability

I'm working on a crypto wallet for a top 50 cryptocurrency. I'm part of the core team and we were discussing potential liability around the app we're building. It's released as-is and under a BSD-2 ...