Questions about Open Source Licences

bdi89

New Member


Messages: 3

Hi,

I had a hard time finding a forum I might be able to find people who know something about Open Source licences. I hope you guys can help me.

- Is it legal to bundle software with a GPL2 licence with freeware? The company offering the download owns all the rights on both, GPL2 software and freeware.

- Is it legal to only allow the download of GPL2 software after entering a email adress? Again the company owns all the rights on the software.

- Is it legal to not have the source code of the newest build free available? (Maybe it would be available after sending them an email)

It's about a company that claims to offer commercial open source programs. I don't want to name the company yet because I know them too good and they know me.

If you know a better forum for these questions please let me know. I don't want to use mailing lists though.

Benjamin
 

Oko

Daemon

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Messages: 1,620

bdi89 said:
Hi,

I had a hard time finding a forum I might be able to find people who know something about Open Source licences. I hope you guys can help me.

- Is it legal to bundle software with a GPL2 licence with freeware? The company offering the download owns all the rights on both, GPL2 software and freeware.

- Is it legal to only allow the download of GPL2 software after entering a email adress? Again the company owns all the rights on the software.

- Is it legal to not have the source code of the newest build free available? (Maybe it would be available after sending them an email)

It's about a company that claims to offer commercial open source programs. I don't want to name the company yet because I know them too good and they know me.

If you know a better forum for these questions please let me know. I don't want to use mailing lists though.

Benjamin

Are you kidding? You want to get legal advice from the forum members. If you need legal advice get the layer especially if you live in U.S. because you might regret not getting one.
 
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bdi89

New Member


Messages: 3

Hi,

sorry, maybe you got me wrong. It is not my company doing that and I don't want to sue them. I'm just interesting if it - as far as forum members know about it - right to do these things. I want to have an opinion not legal advice.
I thought in this forum I could find some open source experts.
 

DutchDaemon

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Open source experts are not necessarily GPL experts. I think that holds true even more in BSD circles, where GPL isn't exactly popular. You may find more expertise in GNU/Linux/FSF forums or websites.
 

trasz@

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@bdi89: If the company owns the software, they can do whatever they want. Basically, the license doesn't apply to the author.
 

tingo

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trasz@ said:
Basically, the license doesn't apply to the author.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If a program / product is licensed in a specific way, the licenses applies to the author as well (if not, why would everyone be so upset about the so called "viral clause" in GPLv2?).
However, the author can choose to change the license of said product, this often involves a lot of laywers, auditors and becomes a process which takes time. For example SGI changed the license of Mesa and some X.org contributions last year (OSNews story).

A whole other thing is that the author / creator can choose to license a product under multiple licenses when the product is first created (often as "dual license"), if they see that as important at that time.
Note: IANAL, and so on.
 
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bdi89

New Member


Messages: 3

Hi,

thank you for your answers. I didn't keep in mind that GPL isn't that popular here. I'll try to find a forum in the GPL/FSF area.

Ben
 

trasz@

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@tingo: It basically works that way. The problem with GPL is a different story - it's because GPL claims (or rather, RMS says that it claims) that derived work is anything linked against GPL. It's not really related to the fact that to the author of a given software, assuming he owns all of it, e.g. is the sole author, license doesn't really apply. If i release something under GPL, and then I decide I want to use it in some commercial, closed source product, I can just go and use it there. My code, my IP, my license. That would be different if I incorporated some GPL-ed code from some other party, though.
 

Alt

Aspiring Daemon

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bdi89: If your software is based on GPL software or using their parts, you must:
1. Give source codes with any copies of this software.
2. Give list what you modified/updated.
3. Give your software GPL licence. This includes rights to modify/ditribute. This is "copyleft" rule that making GPL2 business-unfriendly.

You can hold distributing this software(so i think you can distribute it only after taking email), but if you give it to someone, you must give source codes and GPL licence too. Same for new builds/updates.

The topic is about "Open source", but GPL is not "Open source" :e This is "Free software", so software is free, not you (oops!).
 
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