Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!


  Search this Thread
Old 03-29-2004, 06:49 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 Community
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 15
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
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: FreeBSD 8.2 RELEASE
Posts: 607

Rep: Reputation: 31
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
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Distribution: Debian 3.0r1 (2.4.18-5 i686)
Posts: 104

Rep: Reputation: 21
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
LQ Addict
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Maine, USA
Distribution: Slackware/SuSE/DSL
Posts: 1,320

Rep: Reputation: 45
This doesn't happen very often'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
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 Community
Posts: 30

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
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
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: over there
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 191

Rep: Reputation: 30
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
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

Rep: Reputation: 30
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.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
closed source Linux fakie_flip General 20 09-15-2005 02:28 PM
Derivative OpenCD Error ice_hockey Linux - Software 0 07-11-2005 09:52 AM
swaret closed source? Samsara Slackware 3 05-11-2004 07:05 PM
The ADM8211 closed-source driver, an SMC2635W, and Fedora Core 1 TheOneKEA Linux - Wireless Networking 1 03-07-2004 11:17 AM
recommendation: which nvidia closed source driver is overall 'best'? auslander Linux - Hardware 2 03-03-2003 06:20 PM > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration