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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Could a software patent be used against the inventor of the algorithm?

Since in practice algorithms can actually be patented, sometimes I wonder if it is possible for example for a company to take a open-source code I wrote and released and somehow file a patent for its ...
StackOverflowToxicityVictim's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Can titles of published papers be used for commercial purposes?

Let's say I want to sell t-shirts, and I want to include the title of famous scientific papers. I am also considering adding some other visuals to the shirt; in some cases let's say I would consider ...
EmmanuelB's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does GNU/GPL apply to internal applications?

I'm writing an internal application for my company. I'd like to use a package released on a GNU/GPL license. Due to internal nature of the application I am obviously free to present its source code to ...
Spook's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
4k views

is there (yet) a standard, simple license header that prohibits machine learning?

Is there an SPDX or other widely accepted license header syntax/format that prohibits machine learning? My company's Github license statement includes: "Licensee is not granted the right to, and ...
Jeff Brower's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

How do GPL 2, 3 and other copy-left licenses apply in cases of "software as a service" (SaaS) systems?

GPL-style licenses are pretty effective at ensuring the underlying code cannot contribute to proprietary binary programs. But in the contemporary world of SaaS, are there not many ways around this? ...
Seán Healy's user avatar
-3 votes
4 answers
155 views

Can I sneak around my copyleft obligations with adhesion contracts?

Some licenses, like the GPL, mandate that I license derivative works under the same license and not a more restrictive license. I believe this is called "copyleft". But say I want to have ...
interfect's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
102 views

To what extent does strict liability apply to open source software?

I'm curious to what extent strict liability could apply to open source software in cases where what is shared isn't really a product, or even something that is intended to be incorporated into a ...
Spencer's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

History of "No Warranty" clauses in software

Almost all free/open source software licenses include a section disclaiming any warranty or liability. This is not new; A 1985 licence for GNU Emacs includes the following: GNU Emacs is distributed ...
Kaia's user avatar
  • 238
3 votes
2 answers
172 views

Can open source software licenses be enforced in small claims court?

I'd like to distribute a software project under a GPL license. If someone (apparently) distributes software that includes or links against my GPL project, what claims could I make, and what ...
Jacob Marble's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
108 views

Is the GNU GPL v3 patent license grant valid in space?

The GNU General Public License v3.0 includes a patent license grant (emphasis added): ... Each contributor grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under the contributor's ...
Someone's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
122 views

Does incorporation of open-source (GPL-licenced) software by freelancers violate Upwork T&C?

Some widely used open-source software is distributed under restrictive licences: for instance, the R language uses GPL v.2/v.3. This and other copyleft licences impose several obligations, such as the ...
schrödingcöder's user avatar
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1 answer
75 views

Does the personal data use required to distribute software online make activity "commercial"?

The EU Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) has an exception for non-commercial/open source software. As an exception to the exception, commercial activity seems to explicitly include "the use of personal ...
User65535's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
127 views

Faked GPL license

Lots of software is licensed under the GPL license. It is very well known and well understood. Like most legal documents the license is itself copyrighted, and while the license can be freely copied ...
gnasher729's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
166 views

Is Zero-Clause BSD legally binding?

Unilateral promises themselves are not legally binding, and donations do not constitute a valid contract, as these lack consideration (or "causa," a related concept in civil law). It's also ...
Solarius's user avatar
33 votes
3 answers
10k views

Can the Cyber Resilience Act make it illegal to retire?

Suppose Alice develops some software and releases it under an open source licence. She receives just enough money to be counted as "commercial". This may be donations from users, it may be ...
User65535's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
139 views

Can a software license be conditional on the actions of others?

I recently had an idea for a "threshold conditional" software license that works like this: Any person/entity can purchase a license and gain the unconditional right to use the software any ...
blaineh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
321 views

When will the baseline patents for encoding/decoding the AAC format expire?

The MP4 container is the most ubiquitous video format in the world. It is commonly used with the H.264 video codec, of which there has been a lot written about when the patents for this codec will ...
ripandtear's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
101 views

Can a company that releases code as GPL, use it privately?

If a company has a Github repo under GPL license, can they, as the owners of the original code, distribute closed-source copies of it, i.e do they have a different right over the code ?
Mah Neh's user avatar
  • 39
2 votes
2 answers
90 views

Firmware code written under GPLv3 was modified. What should be published? [closed]

The firmware for an embedded device (e.g., a toaster) is modified significantly. Algorithms are rewritten from scratch, the code is made compatible with different hardware, etc. The end (hardware) ...
Harry Zalessky's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
63 views

Have open-source hardware licenses ever been enforced when distributing a physical product?

As I have found out, there are "open-source hardware" licenses which are written in the spirit of "open-source software" licenses and require the user to publish a modified design ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

Commerical usage of sentence-transformers/multi-qa-mpnet-base-cos-v1 [closed]

We are trying to use a HuggingFace Embedding model - multi-qa-mpnet-base-cos-v1 for an internal Large Language Model powered application. While reading the documentation it says (not verbatim): For ...
cannot_mutably_borrow's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

What if someone published program on invalid license and then fixed it?

I saw repository on GitHub where someone had LICENSE file as below: Copyright year name Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in ...
Szyszka947's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
117 views

How does GPL affect a Makefile-only modification?

As a continuation of this question, does a Makefile modification when building GPL source mean my own program becomes GPL also ? For example, if some third-party GPL'd source contains exit(), and I ...
Jeff Brower's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
804 views

Legality and license choice for reverse-engineered project

I reverse engineered (by sniffing+x32dbg) part of the protocol for a board game client in order to build an alternative client on top of it while still using the official servers. I open-sourced the ...
ale64bit's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

Is there a body that assists in requesting source code from companies thay are required by license to release their codeass

In short, I want to have the source code of the kernel of a specific Android phone that is produced by a one specific reputable south Korean company. They are using Android, thus they are obligated by ...
Mark Segal's user avatar
29 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why do some licenses have a clause stating that one can't violate the law?

Example of such a clause in the Creative MLOpen RAIL-M dated August 22, 2022 used by runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5: You agree not to use the Model or Derivatives of the Model: In any way that ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
128 views

How to put a disclaimer about IP in an open source fangame? [closed]

I am creating a fangame. Specifically a game where you can open weapon cases from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for free and collect or trade skins that you obtain. The entire game source is my own ...
Nik333's user avatar
  • 1
-1 votes
1 answer
57 views

GPL: distribute compiled binary [closed]

Is it legal to modify GPL v3.0 content and distribute a binary of the remixed content without disclosing the modified source code?
Test's user avatar
  • 539
4 votes
1 answer
71 views

Websites routinely fail to distribute licenses for included software packages, should I? [closed]

I'm building a website using Next.js, using tons of npm packages in the process. I'm verifying that none of these packages use GPL or other licenses that would require me to publish my own source code....
Hinton's user avatar
  • 141
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Commonsclause with LGPL - is it legally bounding/strong to defend

Found this license: “Commons Clause” License Condition v1.0 The Software is provided to you by the Licensor under the License, as defined below, subject to the following condition. Without limiting ...
dev's user avatar
  • 117
-1 votes
2 answers
91 views

Does the software we use to write code affect the licenses we must use?

I am a junior software developer and found the licensing confusing, partly because senior devs around me have no idea either. Below I explore scenarios where a software developer uses other software. ...
Mah Neh's user avatar
  • 39
0 votes
0 answers
194 views

Can an AI model licensed under the BigScience RAIL License v1.0 be used in a program that is useful for any domain?

Example: the AI model BLOOM is licensed under the BigScience RAIL License v1.0. The BigScience RAIL License v1.0 forbids that some types of usages: You agree not to use the Model or Derivatives of ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
114 views

What is the definition of "substantial portions of Software" that is used in MIT License?

Text of MIT License is as follows: Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal ...
mtx's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

MIT license for software implementation of published algorithm with a patent in pending status

I am a researcher working at a public research institute. A research group from another country has published an algorithm in a peer-reviewed journal and provided a server implementation of it on ...
Stierlitz's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Odoo Community Software as a Service [closed]

Excuse my ignorance in law and licensing, I have an inquiry regarding Odoo Community Edition that's licensed under LGPLv3, I am planning to develop some addons for it to be suitable for a specific ...
OdooAdmin's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

What are the provisions for mentioning the trademark or trade name of source code orobjects licensed in open source software for proprietary software?

I'm making software that will be proprietary software, which contains some source code or objects from several different open source licenses such as BSD 3-clause, MIT, MPL, Apache, and GPL 3.0, can I ...
Dandi Ditia Saputra's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Is the non-applicability of copyright to software interfaces considered settled law?

In computer software, it's common for a system to expose an Application Programming Interface (API) for other software to interact with it. For example, a smart lightbulb might expose a SetBrightness(...
MooseBoys's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

Where to include CC BY 3.0, CC BY 4.0, SIL OFL 1.1 attribution for a mobile app?

I want to cite the following One SoundBible Sound found here: Attribution 3.0 FontAwesome5 (free license info) (used via react-native-vector-icons): react-native-vector-icons uses the TTF files so I'...
Sam Chen's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are shell scripts considered binaries for licensing purposes?

There are a number of licenses that contain the term "binary distribution". For example, https://github.com/boostorg/beast/blob/develop/LICENSE_1_0.txt: A simple permissive license only ...
cppbest's user avatar
  • 63
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

What are the exactly steps need to do to meet a project requirements of aprache2 licnese?

When we find a web app on GitHub with apache2 license, we would like to host it for the public to visit. From https://tldrlegal.com/license/apache-license-2.0-(apache-2.0) Must part. Include ...
Maxfield's user avatar
  • 569
0 votes
1 answer
158 views

Theft as Distribution of Software

I recently posed a hypothetical to a lawyer who deals with software licensing (His role is to protect a company from accidentally misusing FOSS software) and got a startling response. My hypothetical ...
Gus's user avatar
  • 125
2 votes
0 answers
63 views

How to find a US lawyer for consultation in the open-source + banking + blockchain space?

Considering writing open-source software in the banking/cryptocurrency space (in the USA). Want to do it properly, and have a few questions for how to navigate the space. What's the type of lawyer I ...
gs8282's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

FOSS License compatibility

I have been struggling to understand license compatibility and how it manifests. Two examples: I have a program to which i wrote the codebase. This codebase then dynamically links to two different ...
paul black's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
14 views

Grant access to previous public research results including IPR for the purpose of future commercial exploitation

We are building a project of technology transfer. In the project, one partner is a university XXX; the main contact person who will work with us is a professor. Previously, the professor and his team ...
SoftTimur's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
0 answers
17 views

Does BSD 3-clause extend to educational material

Problem I am looking to teach a web development course and to help teach JavaScript I wanted to use a package licensed under BSD 3-clause. I am unsure if using the library to teach with violates the ...
Kieran Wood's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
80 views

Can I include EULA-licensed IP core in GPL codebase?

I work on little hardware project in Verilog. It would be published on GitLab and would be available for Open Source community. It is licensed as GPL 3. I want to include external IP component in my ...
НЕВСКИЙ БЛЯДИНА's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

License or not for open source code published by the manufacturer?

Do I need license for the Arduino code that a company has posted in their websites when I buy their sensors to use them to my Arduino? For instance, I buy a CO2 sensor and I use the company's code in ...
just_learning's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can you host a version of Wikipedia on your own domain and charge for it?

I am reading through these notes, trying to piece together a picture of what the rules/laws are regarding Wikipedia content: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks https://en....
Lance's user avatar
  • 769
0 votes
1 answer
195 views

Can the GPL3 and MIT license be applied to closed-source software?

I recently found software containing only binaries (no access to source code) being distributed and dual-licensed under the GPL3 (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html) and MIT (https://...
xabase6400's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it legal for me to provide a download of an unchanged fork of an application that is on GitHub?

I plan to write some tech blogs, where one of them showcases an application from GitHub without a license. Now I just forked it as a backup because I don't want my viewers can't find it someday if the ...
Maxfield's user avatar
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