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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.

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-1 votes
0 answers
84 views

Commercial redistribution of Ubuntu

The company I work for is in the process of porting their software to run on Linux. I am one of the software developers working on this and a big part of my job is building the Linux image that the ...
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

What's the point of registering with "Agence pour la Protection des Programmes" (Software Protection Agency) in addition to pushing the code to GitHub

I read the following in this license in a github.com repo: This software has been registered with "Agence pour la Protection des Programmes" (Software Protection Agency) by Inria and Adobe (...
8 votes
2 answers
333 views

Can a child release his own work into e.g. the public domain?

I (15 years old; living in Germany) write software now for ~four years and wondered whether I can release it into the public domain or under some free software license without having to ask somebody. ...
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Is there an open source software license restricting AI model training?

I have a whole bunch of public git repositories online, licensed under MIT, and I'm wondering what options are there to restrict open source software use for AI model training with a commercial intent....
2 votes
2 answers
193 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Is the use of fictional names from a video game in the source code subject to the copyright of the original work? [duplicate]

If I were to reproduce a large amount of names (of characters, abilities, locations, items, etc.) from a video game, then use these names in the source code of a new software being developed, would ...
0 votes
1 answer
251 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-...
2 votes
1 answer
137 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
33 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

How does GNU/GPL apply to internal applications? [closed]

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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 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? ...
-3 votes
4 answers
156 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
106 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
176 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
77 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
111 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
124 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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
171 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
150 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 ...
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....
2 votes
0 answers
361 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
107 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 ?
2 votes
2 answers
91 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) ...
3 votes
1 answer
70 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
135 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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is it legal to profit from an open source software

I am planning on making a service that uses a modified open source software. Would it be legal for me to profit from it? I am not sure what information would be relevant to this so if I have missed ...
-1 votes
2 answers
181 views

What legal conditions do I have to meet to open an open source website? [closed]

I'm working on a website for a pretty long time and in the close future I want to open it into the public. The problem is, my website collects personal data and cookies which (in my country - Poland) ...
1 vote
1 answer
127 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
884 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 ...
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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
133 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
268 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 ...
-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?
4 votes
1 answer
72 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....
0 votes
1 answer
101 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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
95 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. ...
2 votes
1 answer
326 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
197 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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
120 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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
189 views

Could the OpenJDK 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
116 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 ...
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 ...

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