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Old 03-29-2004, 06:49 PM   #1
alxdotnet
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Closed-Source Derivative Works under GLP--possible?


I was wondering--open source code is published so others can use it and improve it, right? Can I take code directly from one open-source app (say under GPL) and incorporate it into a closed-source commercial product? How about into another, drastically different open-source project (i.e. take KDE or Gnome and make new desktop, Mozilla as backend to new browser, etc.)?
Thanks! -Alex
 
Old 03-29-2004, 07:21 PM   #2
Kovacs
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No, you can't. If your app used GPL code or is linked to GPL libraries then you have to release it under the GPL, you can't just steal the code. If you want to use other people's *nix code and release your product as closed source you would have to use source code released under the BSD licence - all you have to do is credit that you used BSD code.
 
Old 03-29-2004, 07:51 PM   #3
Cruxus
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It depends, actually. Sometimes the copyright holders to GPL'd software will also license their programs under proprietary-friendly arrangements. I'm not sure about KDE itself, but Trolltech's Qt toolkit can be licensed under either the GPL or a commercial license. Some other free software projects are similar. If in doubt, you can always contact the copyright holder about alternative licensing.
 
Old 03-29-2004, 08:39 PM   #4
mikshaw
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This doesn't happen very often though...it's more an exception to the rule, and if it's not specified under a separate licence by the copyright holder you are pretty much limited to keeping it open source (YAY!).
 
Old 03-29-2004, 09:29 PM   #5
alxdotnet
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So I CAN take open code and incorporate it into another OS project, perhaps modifying it without recommiting the modifications to the CVS tree?
 
Old 03-29-2004, 09:57 PM   #6
Brane Ded
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Quote:
So I CAN take open code and incorporate it into another OS project, perhaps modifying it without recommiting the modifications to the CVS tree?
Depends what license it is. With GPL, you can do anything you want with it, but if you distribute it, you have to make it freely available. Even if you do sell the code to somebody, nothing stops that person from putting it on an FTP and giving it away.
 
Old 03-30-2004, 01:39 PM   #7
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If I use a piece of software that has been obtained under the GNU GPL, am I allowed to modify the original code into a new program, then distribute and sell that new program commercially?

You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.

These requirements are the condition for including the GPL-covered code you received in a program of your own.


http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL
 
  


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