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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1answer
45 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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1answer
60 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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1answer
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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1answer
24 views

Does the APACH2 Licene 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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1answer
65 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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2answers
108 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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1answer
107 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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1answer
57 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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1answer
155 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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2answers
157 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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1answer
42 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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1answer
49 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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5answers
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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3answers
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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1answer
37 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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0answers
35 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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1answer
68 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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0answers
23 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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1answer
87 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
42 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
93 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
13 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
31 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
52 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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3answers
120 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 ...
3
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1answer
67 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
86 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 ...
6
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1answer
736 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
69 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 ...
28
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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 ...
2
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2answers
452 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
70 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
66 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
32 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
62 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
67 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....
0
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1answer
72 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 ...
1
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1answer
97 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 ...
0
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3answers
123 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 ...
2
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2answers
113 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
62 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
24 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 ...
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2answers
234 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
71 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
98 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
66 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
50 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
51 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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