255

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. That said, taking every line of an application and changing it slightly for the sole purpose of circumventing copyright law is blatantly, obviously, creating a derived work with no plausible defense whatsoever. Even the boughtest judge and jury will definitely find against you if you ever get dragged into court. ...


119

Releasing a project under the MIT license is giving people permission to fork the project. Part of the philosophy behind free software is to give users and developers the right to use, modify, and release the software in ways that wouldn't normally be allowed. If you don't want people to do this, then don't use the MIT license. You can't really complain when ...


102

This is a symptom of a wider migration towards distributed version control systems. Some websites which traditionally hosted non distributed VCS (eg Codeplex & SourceForge) were a little slow in adding support for DVCS (eg Git or Mercurial). So, people who wanted to use DVCS for their project were forced to migrate their projects over to the providers ...


71

According to Betsy Rosenblatt of Harvard Law School's Copyright Basics: What constitutes copyright infringement? Subject to certain defenses, it is copyright infringement for someone other than the author to do the following without the author's permission: copy or reproduce the work create a new work derived from the original work (for ...


71

Was Xamarin's action and the way the action was done ethical or not? Well, let's ask an expert - The Open Source Initiative's listing of the MIT License itself, with the license quoted in it's entirety: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and ...


66

Why do we like commodity hardware? Intel and Dell stopped me charging for assembling my own computers and making my own PCBs. High level languages mean I can't bill for 2 weeks work for a simple printer function written in Assembly. And finally the internet means people can just ask questions for free and someone will answer them rather than having to pay ...


66

Ask the maintainers. Coding style is a quite subjective discussion, and rules like maximum line length of 80 characters are fairly subjective - while general agreement should be that shorter lines are better to read, 80 might be too restrictive for some with today's screen sizes and IDE's. Other rules can be ignored on purpose, too. For instance, a ...


60

Because it's extra effort to create and maintain such a document, and too many people don't understand the associated benefits. Many programmers aren't good technical writers (although many are); they rarely write documents strictly for human consumption, therefore they don't have practice and don't like doing it. Writing a code overview takes time that you ...


59

Choose your licence If your code has been closed source up to now, the first thing you should do is decide on which open source license (GPL <=2, GPL 3, LGPL, BSD, Eclipse etc.) you want to use. There are pro's and cons to each, so read up on what restrictions they place on the code and decide who you want to be able to use it. Warning, whichever you ...


59

First, the standard disclaimer: IANAL but a random stranger. I have been packaging an AGPL application(*) recently. It uses third party libraries distributed under jQuery, MIT, BSD (and some other) licenses. Here is how I have proceeded. My main intents when I designed this were: be compliant and be fair. While the first one should be sufficient, the ...


58

The MIT license doesn't specify attribution beyond maintaining the copyright notice. The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. Somewhere within the source for the project you are considering forking, there should be a LICENSE file or equivalent. If there isn't, then ...


56

My understanding is that: MIT-licensed projects can be used/redistributed in BSD-licensed projects. TRUE (but unless there are modifications, the users can get it from the original sources also. BSD-licensed projects can be used/redistributed in MIT-licensed projects. FALSE MIT license allows for distribution without contribution credits; BSD doesn't. The ...


56

I believe on the contrary that you should release an open source software as soon as possible. There is no "too soon" for that (but it should compile). Or at least publish the source code very early and continuously (e.g. by frequent pushes on github), without making formal releases. However, it is very important to flag it as alpha or beta stage, and if ...


55

You can quit. Not the most constructive thing to do, but sometimes it's the only option. If you do, don't sit around and moan about how you had to give it up, take that energy and put it straight into something else - 'move on' in other words. You can fork it. There's no reason why you have to work with anyone. Fork, improve the code and let the others ...


54

I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, and if you rely on what I say in any sort of dubious undertaking (1) you're an idiot, and (2) I disclaim all responsibility. This is what I've heard and read over the years from people who seem to know. Judges don't play "in theory" games. They don't like people who make up ways to twist the law that are perhaps ...


54

Why not let this eager person send you a pull request? You'll have the opportunity to review and critique that person's code. This seems like the simplest solution.


53

I recommend not distributing it to project members at all. Appoint or elect a treasurer, open an account and deposit the money to earn simple interest. If you distribute donated funds between developers, at least one will become disenfranchised as the project grows. Instead, consider the other possibilities for the funds: Swag. Print up some T shirts to ...


51

I've used GitHub profiles, twitter streams, and blogs all as indicators of quality in programming interviews/candidate screening. They all generate different signals in their own way. 9 out of 10 applicants have never submitted a single patch to a single open source project. Even updating broken documentation puts you into an upper echelon of developer. It ...


51

First of all, remember: shipping is a feature. It's better to release something imperfect than to release nothing at all. The other thing to note is that these are Hobby projects. If you don't meet deadlines or lose interest it's not a big deal. You're doing the project for fun after all.


49

This is a dilemma: you cannot close the issue as "fixed", because you don't actually know if it was fixed, or at least even if some issue was fixed, you don't actually know whether this was the issue the reporter was talking about. On the other hand, you don't want to leave an issue that might have been fixed open, especially if you won't ever be able to ...


48

You've already answered the question: you like the technology you're working with. If that's not a good enough answer to satisfy these people, then they're not interested in being satisfied. I've been doing this for over 20 years. I've worked on VMS, MPE, MPX, Unix, Linux, Windows, MacOS, etc. I've used open source and proprietary tools on the major ...


48

You seem to be motivated largely by respect for the authority of the rubocop tool and the Ruby Style Guide, which the maintainers may not share. They already have their own style, and are used to it, so any change would affect everyone working on the project, and that's a lot of work, especially if the project is large. Consider the motivations of the ...


47

Short answer: absolutely not. Everything a person writes, whether it is software or text, is automatically under copyright. The default state of any text is that it is completely owned by the author and no one has rights to do anything with it without express permission of the author. A few decades ago, an author used to have to assert copyright in order ...


45

Project hosting is infrastructure. Infrastructure exhibits network effects, which means that infrastructure gets more useful the more people are connected to it. (In particular, the usefulness is O(number_of_connections), which means that for any individual member it is O(total_members) and for the whole system it is O(total_members^2)). This, in turn, leads ...


42

Since you can't compete on price, then compete on all of the other selling points that the software has: features quality effectiveness integration with other software service support direct selling Basically, you do what every other company does when they're in price competition: keep pace, or change the game.


41

Membership in an OSS project is not the same as a funded, corporate team where people are interviewed and chosen. The source is already out there (it isn't open source otherwise). Tell them to send in some patches. If they are good patches (and you must review them first), commit them. Once the prospect builds up trust and a a history of making valuable ...


40

I'm guessing this is not a project at a workplace where you are a paid employee and something you do in your spare time for free? If you are making no money from this, then clearly there is no incentive for you, and no incentive for anyone else to come in fresh to deal with it. (unless maybe it is for a charity or similar voluntary organisation) As an ...


39

Jeff Atwood has done a pretty good job explaining the differences among the multitude of Open Source software licenses in plain English here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/04/pick-a-license-any-license.html The most important consideration affecting your decision will be your redistribution terms. That is, will you allow your code to be used in ...


39

The commercial software would need to include the copyright notice for the work it has used. It doesn't mean the entire commercial work is then licensed under the MIT license. For example, I would expect to see the copyright notice for the commercial software, with the following wording added: This software includes the Yannbane Awesome Library: ...


39

You've made it a little unclear exactly what your role is here. The answer depends on how you fit in. If you're leading the project and control the git repository Take back control. If this guy is making commits you don't like without consulting you, remove his direct commit access. He can fork the project and make pull requests to merge his commits. ...


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