Open Source Licensing Terms

JasonSJasonS If I had known it was going to be that kind of party...Posts: 228
I am new to the use of Open Source Licenses. I have found several open source projects that I would like to use code from in my Duet Modules, and I would like to be faithful to the terms of the license agreements. I am unsure of exactly how the licensing terms pertain to a typical AV control system implementation. Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences in this regard?

Comments

  • GregGGregG Just some guy... Posts: 249
    It really depends very specifically on the license type. I'm not a lawyer so don't take me as any kind of expert, and I disclaim any responsibility or liability for your actions based on the accuracy of this post. (There's a license for ya ;-) )

    Generally ones like BSD, MPL, MIT, CDDL and Apache allow use of the open source code in other works without insisting your own work also be open source. Some of them don't even require credit be given.

    The lesser GPL allows linkage of a GPL module into a differently licensed master work (your deliverable main code), but any modifications made to the module have to be contributed back in source form, and the original source linked and credited.

    The main version of GPL usually requires you to release any code you make back out again under the same license, and mostly restricts you from linking a GPL module(maybe a java library) into a non-GPL master work (your whole program) without having it also be GPL.

    The AGPL is a version of full GPL which includes code you write only for internal use and won't be selling as an end-user install-able product. Including things like custom applications running on your own web servers. So if you link AGPL code into your custom weather data server back end for customer use, then you have to release all that source as AGPL. Of course, there is always the question of who knows what you used and how.

    More data: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_free_and_open-source_software_licenses

    Most of the time in java, the open source code I see out there needs a fairly extensive re-write to run in the limited AMX java version, so I mostly look at the open source world for concepts, not so much completed works.
  • PhreaKPhreaK Senior Member Posts: 966
    Nice one. In general, licenses and most legal stuff sucks. It can be a huge time sink and is a super effective way to drain your passion and enthusiasm that could be better put to use building awesome things. Thankfully, there are some tools to make this easier for those of us that are human, rather than lawyers.

    ChooseALicense.com

    TL;DR Legal

    As with any advice (particularly legal) from the internet it's always best to consult with a professional to ensure it properly applies to your situation and the area of the world you live in.

    P.S. don't even get me started on software patents.
  • champchamp Junior Member Posts: 261
    So what do you think about software patents?
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,498
    Speaking as a recovering laywer (still licensed, abstaining), I can attest.... legal stuff does suck.

    But everyone wants a bloodsucking lawyer when they feel they've been wronged.

    Anyway, a little license attention is better than none. If you don't know what you can lose, you don't protect yourself. Problem with litigation is that the one who can afford to do it longer, wins.
  • GregGGregG Just some guy... Posts: 249
    The very very little open source I have released (not AMX related, my employer owns all that stuff), I put under the Creative Commons CC0 license:

    https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    Which is a more polite verion of the WTFPL .
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