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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
15 votes
Accepted

May I include parts of MIT-licensed code inside my closed-source project?

There is not copyleft provision in the MIT license. The MIT license gives you legal permission to use the code without ever distributing any of your source code. Since your project is closed source, ...
Mike Gashler's user avatar
12 votes

Why isn't the C standard free?

ISO's position ISO claims that the revenues from standards are required to finance the work of the technical working groups producing them, and the overhead costs. It also claims that this financing ...
Christophe's user avatar
  • 77.9k
7 votes
Accepted

Adding a new file to a GPL project - how do I carry along/modify copyright information?

There are two separate copyrights in play when you contribute to an open-source project. There's the copyright on your individual contribution, and then there's a copyright on the entire collective ...
Evan's user avatar
  • 1,265
6 votes
Accepted

Is modification allowed if license does not mention it?

Modifying a copyrighted work is creating a derivative work. This must be granted by the copyright holder (see here), which seems not to be the case in the license that you quote. But attention: ...
Christophe's user avatar
  • 77.9k
5 votes

Adding a new file to a GPL project - how do I carry along/modify copyright information?

License and copyright are two very different things. GPL, in general, makes sure that any derivative works are still GPL. If you add new code to code that is GPL, that will still be GPL, but you ...
Bent's user avatar
  • 2,576
5 votes
Accepted

Does a license need to go at the top always?

Disclaimer: the following is not legal advice. It's only my own personal opinion as IT professional. For legal advice, you should consult a lawyer or a qualified legal expert. 1.Where to put the ...
Christophe's user avatar
  • 77.9k
5 votes
Accepted

What does it mean for a software to be copyrighted, but the source is also offered?

What it means is that the software is copyrighted with all rights reserved, but the source is also available. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps you're confusing source availability with Open ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
5 votes

If I develop a media player for mobile or desktop do I have to pay for a license if my player is able to read MP3 files?

I read quite a few forum topics and mailing list (link), the general answer was that if you are using the Android SDK, and you do not have an MP3 encoder/decoder in your application, then you don't ...
meskobalazs's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

how to properly copyright my code on github?

You don't need to write anything. When creating a github project, github lets you select the type of license from a drop-down listbox. It will then display that license type on your project's page, ...
Mike Nakis's user avatar
  • 32.2k
4 votes

How to avoid accidental Copyright Infringement?

You can't "coincidentally write the same code" any more than you can coincidentally happen to write Shakespeare's Hamlet. That is, the probability's vanishingly remote. Of course, you're bound to use ...
John Forkosh's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How to preserve authorship of a forked repository on GitHub?

The maintainer of the fork must do what it says in the license text, which is to preserve the copyright notice and license text in all files that contain substantial quantities of the original code. ...
Jules's user avatar
  • 17.8k
4 votes

Should we compile and ship libraries with debug information whenever possible?

It might also be a question for your lawyers. A library (or an executable) compiled with debug info (e.g. in C++, on Linux, compiled with g++ -g2 -O2 into ELF format with DWARF debug info) contains a ...
Basile Starynkevitch's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Are there accepted alternatives to having boilerplate (e.g. copyright, OSS, xport ctrl, classification) in the sourcecode itself?

From the perspective of a developer, those header comments are 100% pure junk. Every time I open a file, I have to scroll past all of that nonsense to get to the actual code. So yes, there is a widely ...
David Arno's user avatar
  • 39.3k
3 votes

Should we compile and ship libraries with debug information whenever possible?

The idea proposed here is that shipping debug information with a software library makes developing applications easier for that library. If this is true, it implies that programmers need inside ...
Jack D Menendez's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Copying and pasting is bad. What about reimplementing?

Warning: here I'm talking specifically about US copyright law, though copyright law tends to be fairly consistent internationally as well (there are quite a few international treaties about copyrights)...
Jerry Coffin's user avatar
  • 44.5k
3 votes

How does fair use apply to code snippets?

Copyright applies to creative works, including expressions of ideas (which is how source code is treated legally speaking), as long as the expression of those ideas reaches a level of originality and ...
Jules's user avatar
  • 17.8k
3 votes

How do I properly credit authors of software released under the MIT license?

I am not a layer, but here is what I proposed and was validated in my jurisdiction: Include ALL license files from any included MIT code, be it forked, copied as-is, etc. If the license files are ...
pmdci's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes
Accepted

May I relicense my project from GPLv3 to Apache 2.0?

In general, the principle is that you cannot revoke the GPL license, once it is applied to a particular version of a software. If you choose to release your software under a new version using a ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
2 votes

What does it mean for a software to be copyrighted, but the source is also offered?

Copyright is a legal construct that restricts peoples ability to gain an unfair advantage of your creative work. Everything creative you do has copyright on it, whether you claim it or not. Typically ...
Michael Shaw's user avatar
  • 9,955
2 votes

Exclude files from open source license?

You have several options: 1) The most robust solution is to explicitly state the copyright license in every file. It can be a single line at the top: // Copyright (c) 2016 Your Name. Licensed under ...
Søren Løvborg's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

How to handle modification on MIT Licenced project

Yes. All you have to is just to write the last original version and give a copyright to the original author. Then under it write your name, year and copyright for the modified version. That's all you ...
107MP's user avatar
  • 46
2 votes

Legality of website forking?

You don't understand the term 'forking'. It refers to open source projects where two or more groups of contributors want to take the project in different directions. Say I submit a pull request to ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.3k
2 votes
Accepted

What kind of license/copyright is this? Can I use this in a GPLv3 licensed project?

Can I proceed to apply the GPLv3 license to it? No. The GPLv3 forbids any usage restrictions, this license has a usage restriction. Whichever way you try to resolve this conflict, you will violate ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
2 votes

Should we compile and ship libraries with debug information whenever possible?

No, we should not. People who conditionally include code executed in debug builds expect that code to be executed only in debug builds, and never in release builds. This code may only be invariant ...
Frank Hileman's user avatar
2 votes

Contributions of a problematic team member to an open source project

There is no contract You are screwed. Each developer owns the copyright to their work. You need to get them all to sign some sort of contribution agreement to give up copyright and/or to licence ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.3k
1 vote

Contributions of a problematic team member to an open source project

This question raises some legal matters related to copyright and licensing. Legal matters depend very much of your jurisdiction, and existing agreements. The safest would be to consult a lawyer or a ...
Christophe's user avatar
  • 77.9k
1 vote
Accepted

Modifying an Apache 2 licensed file and add MIT license to it

Perhaps this question might be worth a read. This might get tricky, especially if you are not the original author, or if you are indeed the original author but other people contributed non-trivial ...
s.m's user avatar
  • 786
1 vote

Is BSD-3 compatible with dual licensing?

The answer to the first question is clearly yes. You own the copyright and can issue copies of your work under different licenses. You would need the approval of any joint copyright owners (people ...
Glenn Randers-Pehrson's user avatar
1 vote

How to handle modification on MIT Licenced project

The answer is right there in the license. You can do pretty much whatever you want, as long as you preserve the Copyright notice (the line(s) starting with Copyright) and the Permission notice (...
Søren Løvborg's user avatar
1 vote

Can you license a fork of a public domain library?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. You won't find an absolute answer to this question anywhere, but the general consensus seems to be, "Yes, with attribution, depending on your jurisdiction." The CC0 is ...
freginold's user avatar
  • 365

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