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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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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1answer
66 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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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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1answer
79 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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1answer
40 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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1answer
75 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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0answers
12 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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1answer
28 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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1answer
38 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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2answers
45 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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1answer
55 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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1answer
60 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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6answers
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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2answers
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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1answer
710 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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2answers
62 views

Am I free to make use of code snippets found in a bachelor's thesis under an open-source license?

I found an interesting bachelor's thesis recently, with some ideas in it that I have not seen applied in any sort of library that I've come across before. Thus, I would like to create my own library ...
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8answers
11k views

Do I really have to Open Source my project?

I'm currently working on a software which uses another software under the GPL version 3 license: https://github.com/ViaVersion/ViaVersion/blob/dev/LICENSE Now someone just came to me and said I have ...
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2answers
448 views

Methods for obtaining source code from an uncooperative company

I purchased a commercial product in the United States that has user-upgradable firmware available by unrestricted download. I am positive this firmware is based on an open-source project licensed ...
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1answer
56 views

What are the implications of a NASA Open Source Agreement version 1.3

There is this code released under NASA Open Source Agreement version 1.3. I don't get the license. Can I use the code in a commercial product? Any limitation?
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1answer
49 views

Retaining maximum free/open-source freedoms in a software license except for source redistribution

There are several free/open-source licenses (e.g. GPLv3, Apache 2.0, MIT) that allow several freedoms to the user of a software. Generally if you grant access to an individual to use software under ...
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1answer
30 views

Does hosting, developer or user location determine which laws apply?

Example scenario: I live in Switzerland and develop a software. I publish the source code (and maybe a binary executable file) on a server located in the USA. Let's also assume a user from another ...
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1answer
61 views

If an app is built on a GPL Operating System must it also be GPL?

If an app is built on a GPL Operating System must it also be GPL?
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1answer
63 views

Legality of dual use software that could help with games

Say I have tremors, and I edit my GPL mouse driver to use image analysis to identify icons on the screen that I am trying to click on, and click on them for me, similar to a snap to grid functionality....
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1answer
61 views

Is it illegal to copy commercial software features into an open source project?

Imagine I work for a company that has a software X, no algorithm in this software is patented. If I want to create an open source software Z that has similar features as software X by looking into the ...
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1answer
84 views

Are open source software licenses really irevocable under US law?

Many open source software licenses, such as the Apache 2.0, the GPL ver 3, the EUPL ver 1.2, the OSL ver 3.0, and other copyleft licenses such as the CC-BY-SA 2.0 license purport to provide a license ...
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3answers
113 views

If one is the owner of an MIT licence, can that person relicense the software?

Suppose that someone (S) has supervised a group of students for a school project to produce software. This software is licensed under the MIT License and the copyright notice caries the name of the ...
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2answers
100 views

Can I get in legal trouble for open sourcing an unofficial wrapper for an API? (EU Law) [closed]

A while ago, I programmed a very simple API-Wrapper for a search engine and made it Open Source (Licensed under MIT). All it basically does, is using the very same REST-API the actual website uses as ...
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2answers
59 views

Can a copyright holder legally remove another holder from license copyright, then expand it to all contributors?

The original author of a MIT-licensed project "merged" a large set of changes I authored, which included an addition of my name to the copyright line of the license. Later on, the original ...
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0answers
23 views

Are the graphic assets distributed with an open source software project covered under the software license?

I have an open source software project under the 3-Clause BSD license, which includes a logo in its README. Recently, working on another project, I have found that the license text does not explicitly ...
4
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2answers
184 views

Is it legal to use leaked documents for open source development?

Lets say a specific data structure is only documented in a confidential document, which can not be found over the official websites. If a developer can find a copy of this document via Google (on an ...
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2answers
69 views

Can I sell a mobile app that contains definitions from a GPL licensed dictionary?

I am developing a mobile word game in which the word list and word definitions come from the GCIDE Dictionary. According to my research this software is released under the GNU General Public License. ...
2
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2answers
77 views

Is an SDPX header legally equivalent to a license header?

I consider to use SDPX headers in stead of the full license headers in my code. However, I wonder whether this is actually legally equivalent. So, for context, this is the SDPX license list: https://...
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0answers
53 views

What are the license restrictions on opencv-contrib-python, 'ximgproc' module to be specific?

I am not able to find solid licensing details for opencv-contrib-python, I am aware that it uses non-free algorithms. https://github.com/opencv/opencv_contrib However, I am not sure if I can use the '...
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1answer
49 views

Can an employee of a non-profit sign CLA and contribute to open source project under a copyright of a for-profit

I am mostly thinking in the context of USA. If there is a non-profit X 501(c)(3) with an employee A. Can this employee A contribute during work hours to an open source project which requires them to ...
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2answers
47 views

Software development under BSD license [closed]

I am employed full time developing software. The company I am working for agreed to have the software under a BSD license. If I leave the company, is there any legal problem if I use the software as I ...
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2answers
57 views

What avenues exist for licensing software code to one's employer while retaining the rights to use it in other projects?

Let's say someone works on personal software projects on their own time while also working for a software company. One day a situation arises such that the source code of one of these personal ...
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2answers
194 views

What are the rights of the software owners if their software is used to make money?

Let's assume that I have an iPhone and I tell how to use it (e.g. how an app is downloaded, how a photo is taken), I mention about its functions, features (e.g. how a contact is created, how Wi-Fi is ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the difference between typeface derivative works and a "document created using the font"

I like the Humor Sans font and have been using it to create infographics. These are png/jpg files and do not contain information about the font typeface, nor do they contain any of the source code of ...
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1answer
154 views

Can the maintainers of a LGPL project use contributed code after the original contributor withdrew it and was kicked out from the community?

Suppose that out there in the web there is a project, let's call it <PROJECT NAME>, licensed under LGPL v 2.1 or, at the end user's discretion, above. An external contributor (not officially ...
1
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1answer
157 views

Is it legal to sell video courses on Udemy by using open source or not open source software?

I see people who sell courses about topics in the informatics sector on Udemy, such as system administration, network administration, cyber security, programming languages, etc. They use/run software ...
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1answer
65 views

How to patent a technology as public domain? [duplicate]

If an inventor comes up with a technology that could benefit humankind and instead of keeping it for themselves they decide they want to make it freely available to all, what would the legal process ...
-1
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1answer
51 views

Could I convert an HTML template under MIT to a WordPress theme and sell it?

I found an HTML blog template under the MIT license, and I would like to convert it to a WordPress theme and sell it (for example, on ThemeForest). If I understand correctly, the MIT license will ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Legal issue with open source font?

I use a free, open source font called "Metropolis" for my webpages. However, apparently there now is a legal issue due to similarities to a licensed font called "Gotham", owned by ...
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1answer
50 views

Fallback license for the case public domain is unavailable [closed]

Suppose a software developer wants to release a software project into the public domain. However the developer knows that this sometimes causes more troubles than it solves due to the problem that ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Is it possible to have a software license that is free for people, but expensive for mega corporations?

I've been searching for a software license that seems like it should exist. The fact that I'm not finding it anywhere makes me wonder if it's just not possible. This page has a pretty good list of ...
0
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1answer
81 views

Can I use Creative-Commons Share-alike software in a commercial server application?

I'd like to write a computer program that runs on a server. This program leverages the popular Express.js library which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 USA license. ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Open Source liability if I accept donations?

If I have an open source project with the MIT license and I accept donations, does that change my liability?
2
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1answer
359 views

Does AGPL 3 requeired to give free services

I found the following lines about AGPL3 and I am not sure about the correct way to interpret it. Does AGPL3 oblige me to give my cloud services that connected to the app for free or is it only the ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Copyrights of an application with similar name to another application

i has writing a php framework that its features is most important features that are exists in codeigniter and laravel and very very another features that is not exists in another frameworks. it's a ...
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0answers
25 views

Open source software license limitations

Software development often requires the usage of libraries, which are often open source and licensed to the user. While some of these licenses allow for free and unrestricted commercial use, like the ...

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