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.

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Am I at risk by storing or using software that violates copyright?

Imagine the following scenario: A software company copies code from some open source project and includes it in their own software without giving credit to the original authors, violating the open ...
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0 answers
41 views

What license would be correct for an online version of a proprietary board Game?

For a student project we created on online version of "The Game" and now we have to decide which open source license (MIT License, GPL, Apache License, etc.) would be the most suitable for ...
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1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Using publicly returned HTML as a part of tests suite

I'm working on a templating engine that takes HTML and a specific C-like language mixed in one file called "template" and produces a native program in said C-like language which then ...
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1 vote
0 answers
19 views

AGPL-3.0 license

If make a service for a open source software with this license that interact but isn't part of the software itself, only connected to it, i would need to provide a open source distribution of the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
871 views

What is a binary form in software BSD license (and other licenses that didn't define it)?

BSD license says (emphasis mine): Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met... It sounds "...
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3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Is each version of a software considered a "derivative work"?

Originally asked in Software Engineering but a user raised it is more a legal question than an engineering one. Let's suppose there is a software at version a1 in code repository A on an online code ...
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3 votes
2 answers
93 views

Can minors publish open source software?

If a minor releases software under a FOSS license, is the license binding? Could the minor sue a violator?
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0 votes
0 answers
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Sales of equipment using hardware that uses OSS developed by the supplier

Suppose that a company (CoA) develops and sells equipment which comes with a software system (SysA) to run it. This equipment is built using associated hardware (HwB) developed by another company (CoB)...
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0 votes
2 answers
58 views

Fork published on NuGet confusing users / unlist request

Recently I got an e-mail from a package maintainer asking me to unlist my fork of said package from NuGet due to my fork "confusing nuget users". I've never encountered a request like this ...
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26 views

Open Source License and Copyright Text

If I receive an open source software (for instance, a SaaS application) which contains some open source libraries or packages that I am familiar with, but without the inclusion of the license text (as ...
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0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Use Mint Y theme look and feel in MIT licensed library

I'm writing an UI library for JavaScript. I wish to release my work under the MIT license. As part as my code I wish to provide a hand crafted theme based on the look and feel of the Mint Y family of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Licensing confusion with Github and Stack Exchange

I posted code on Github with an Apache2 license but left the part "Copyright {yyyy} {name of copyright owner}" instead of adding the year and my name. Then I copied the code from Github and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
65 views

Is a website using behind the scenes software X a "copy" or "substantial portion" of software X?

The MIT license says: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. Bob finds a nice piece of MIT-licensed software ...
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2 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is creating a simulator/mock of an API considered "derivative work"?

We have a number of clients integrating their software with a specific third party service via a HTTP REST API. In order for our clients to be able to test efficiently their software we need to create ...
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0 votes
2 answers
121 views

Can a developer claim credit / ownership of my software licensed under the MIT License?

A user forked a repository made by me that is licensed by the MIT License. He made a few changes to the code and added the following line to the README.md Made by [HisName]! Contact me at [HisName]#...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Open Source project change license from BSD 3 Clause to Lgpl-2.1

If a software was released under BSD 3 Clause license, how can I rerelease it with my changes under Lgpl-2.1 with Commonsclause? What are the requirements and my obligations? More about later, here: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Is it possible to use for commercial purposes code released with a license which allows it, even if it was patented afterwards?

This software was released as open source 2 years ago: https://github.com/lululxvi/deeponet The license allows commercial use: https://github.com/lululxvi/deeponet/blob/master/LICENSE However, end of ...
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  • 121
1 vote
2 answers
73 views

Does AGPL apply to products created by the software, or just the software?

I'm a 3D modeler by trade, and in the past I've used some software to create a base mesh for humanoid renders. I'm seeing now that, while it used to be AGPL and CC0, it's now entirely AGPL, and by ...
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Enforcing the GPL license on software

I published a software project under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3.0. I have written the code behind it, hence I am the copyright holder. According to the AGPL license, anyone who ...
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1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Using code snippets contributed by you in a library/project with restrictive license

Years ago I contributed some code snippets to a C++ library released with GPL license. Currently I am working on some closed-source commercial project where these snippets could be very helpful. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

How can I exclude any rights for my own software projects from the contract?

I'm about to sign a long terms terms contract for software development and maintenance. This job implies working with several applications and creating new ones. It seems to be difficult to put all of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
75 views

Can a developer use someone else's product name as an Open Source project name?

Suppose that an open source developer wants to use the product name ninjago owed by Lego for the name of an Open Source project. Is it allowed to base the project name on Lego brand? Also can the ...
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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

How long does a GPL licencee have to respond to a source code request before it becomes a GPL violation?

I have requested source code for a product that contains software licensed under GPL 2. The product includes a written offer to provide source code if you send a written request by email. The offer is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Does the APACH2 Licence include the implementation of algorithms?

If some algorithm is written in some programming language and licenced under APACHE2 and I rewrote it in another programming language, should the new code be considered as a derivative work or it is a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
139 views

Can I use MongoDB Community for profit?

Recently Mongo has relicensed MongoDB under their own custom license. Suppose that a developer D plans to use MongoDB Community on his or her own self hosted servers. Suppose further that D will use ...
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2 votes
2 answers
111 views

Is written permission from the owner of unlicensed code sufficient for modification and usage without consequences?

I recently found a repository on GitHub that I found quite interesting. I wanted to modify and use it in my project; however, the code is unlicensed. I proceeded to email the owner of the repository ...
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1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Open source rocket development

Is it possible to collaborate openly (publicly) world-wide with others to develop a suborbital/orbital capable rocket/launcher and to publish the resulting know-how (both software and hardware)? There ...
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1 vote
1 answer
65 views

How to abide by software license when forking source code

I am forking a source code repository. The repository contains a file, LICENSE.TXT, which reads: "MIT License Copyright (c) 2021 Microsoft [...] The above copyright notice and this permission ...
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3 votes
1 answer
186 views

Is it legal to make encryption breaking technology public?

Much of our critical infrastructure relies on encryption as the bedrock of its security. Encryption, however, is a practically a "very hard" mathematical problem that will take eternity to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
165 views

Is my programming knowledge contaminated?

We know that ideas are not copyrightable (except for patent related issues), but expressions are (idea–expression dichotomy). However, after reading about clean room design, I got somewhat confused. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

If commercial use is not mentioned in a software license like BSD, is it implied to freely do so?

BSD talks mostly about redistribution and doesn't even mention commercial use or something like "for any purpose". Therefore they don't need to explicitly state "commercial use is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
78 views

Why does the open source license BSD-Clause 2/3 not have something like "to deal in the Software without restriction?

Every article that I've read about BSD-Clause 2 and 3 pretty much said that the licensed software is free of restrictions/any purpose as long as you follow what the licenses say, but the actual ...
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17 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is it legal to write a software license if I'm not a licensed attorney?

I was hoping to create my own open-source license since none of the existing ones seem to work for what I want. However, someone mentioned to me that in the USA it's illegal to practice law without a ...
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9 votes
3 answers
5k views

GPLv3-licensed project on Github seems to try to restrict commercial use

I found an interesting project (tool for numerical simulations) on Github with the following paragraph in its README: You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General ...
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0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Can I impose the requirement of a paid license if and only if my software is offered as a service?

I'm getting ready to open source a project that facilitates the deployment, maintenance, and orchestration of data platforms on just about any architecture (locally, on any cloud of your choosing, on ...
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0 votes
0 answers
39 views

GPL-v3 using along with closed source via rest api

I want to use CMS distributed under GPL-v3 licenses. I am building a web application with closed code and my app invokes via REST API backend under GPL-v3. Question: is it legal to use GPL-v3 along ...
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1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Can I develop open source software to parse a copyrighted document for private use?

I obtained a foreign language dictionary in PDF format, whose copyright information states the following: All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of ...
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0 votes
0 answers
30 views

Could there be a legal liability when including SW with an (MIT) license with the author / year left unspecified?

Working with open source software in a professional setting (my own startup), I came across several instances of repositories in GitHub that have licenses that are parsed as valid, but are in fact ...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

Is it legal to decompile Apple Open Source components?

I want to write a blogpost / record a screencast about macOS opensource components. I was going to decompile those opensource components and I am not sure if it would be legal. MacOS software license ...
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1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Making public/open-source datasets from royalty-free image sources

I am working on a small face-related dataset that will be publicly available for open research. I have looked into many copyright-free image sources like https://pikwizard.com/ and https://www.pexels....
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2 votes
1 answer
197 views

What public evidence suggests that AWS violated the AGPL by deploying MongoDB?

A few years ago (2018), the software package MongoDB, freely available including source code, was relicensed. The original license was the infamous AGPL, which required anybody offering modified ...
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0 votes
0 answers
14 views

Can I use my GPL library in my proprietary application? [duplicate]

Suppose my company owns (in the sense: has the intellectual property of) libA, and another company owns appB. Then this other company can't use libA in appB, unless the license of appB is changed to ...
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  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
41 views

Who owns the intellectual property an open-source project with external contributions?

Say a company has created a software product all by itself and decides to open-source it. As long as the contributions to the product are done by the company, the intellectual property of the the ...
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  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Use of gplv2 licensed code in server

Suppose that someone develops a web application, and found a piece of code that they would like to add to their server. But that code is licensed under the GPLv2 license. Does that mean that if they ...
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3 votes
3 answers
138 views

If I post my own code to Stack Overflow, can I then use that code in a project that uses a license other than CC-BY-SA?

Suppose that I have a block of code that represents my own original work (i.e. I am the copyright holder), and that I would like to post this code on Stack Overflow--either to answer someone else's ...
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3 votes
1 answer
71 views

What open-source licence allows internal industry research and development, but not direct commercialization

I need an open source license which allows for commercial entities to join academic and government entities, and to use our tools in their internal research and development. I need to bar the direct ...
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1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Collecting chess games for an open source database

There are a few questions on copyright and chess already, but I'm going to be a bit more specific. There currently are big, commercial databases of chess games, such as Chessbase's Mega Database. ...
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13 votes
6 answers
2k views

How do trademarks apply to Open Source?

How do trademarks apply to open-source? Hypothetical: In the early 1990s, there is a company operating under the name Portable Network Graphics, who brands their products with the mark PNG. They ...
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11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Obtaining source code from an uncooperative company when you're an author

According to an answer on Methods for obtaining source code from an uncooperative company: You're probably out of luck. The company distributing this firmware has an obligation to provide you the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
765 views

Who can publish GPLv4?

I was thinking about the or later part that is often used in licensing software. When reading https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html, I've found this: The Free Software Foundation may publish ...
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