August 31st, 2003, 11:21 PM
Enhancements to Open Source
I downloaded the Open Source (Say for ex: Linux, php etc) and I made some Enahncements to the Open Source, If I want to make this Product Commercial i.e If I want to sell this Software. Will it be legal Or Do I need to Register/Approve from SOme Authority.
This is Just for the information, One of my friend Asked me long Back.
September 1st, 2003, 10:03 AM
It depends on the licence the software is released under. Many open-source projects release under GNU's General Public License (GPL). If this is the licence the software you're modifying/distributing falls under then it's perfectly legal to charge a fee for it. However, any software you create by modifying or including GPL-protected code must also be released under the GPL. This broadly means that although you may charge for it, you must also make it freely available and the source code must be publicly available also, either by including it in the distribution or providing instructions on how to contact you to obtain it.
An example of a company who charges a price for Open Source software is Red Hat, who bundle up Linux with lots and lots of programs and utilities (window managers, browsers, editors etc. etc.) They are quite entitled to charge for these packaged CD-ROM distributions, however they also make them available for free download via their website.
September 1st, 2003, 11:48 PM
Thank you so much for the Reply. I really appreciate for the clarification.
I have another question in my mind,
Q :We are new to GPL issues. Since we will be spending lots of resources to enhance the functionality, Is it mandatory for us to share the source code we develop using existing open-source software. Is Sun Java is also distributed under GPL?
Can anybody have an idea?
Thanks in Advance
September 2nd, 2003, 03:23 AM
If it is GPL-protected source code, yes it is mandatory. Have a look at the GPL FAQ here.
If you are 'spending lots of resources' on this, I would advise procuring professional legal advice before you proceed, rather than relying on me. Also, you should be aware of this FAQ entry.
No. Sun uses its own licensing. Have a look around here to see if you can find anything.
September 2nd, 2003, 03:46 AM
Thanks a lot for the information