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open source

hey, question about it.

if I take webkit or Sun's Openoffice and recombined them to make my own browser or office suit, am I allowed to sell it as my own?

Sarcast
Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:38:34 +0000

Depends on the license. Open Source is not a license. Open Source just says you have access to the source code.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:53:36 +0000

Open Source implies the software is bounded by an Open Source license.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Definition

Introduction
Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

If you can get someone to buy it, you're free to sell it.

gnowk
Wed, 07 Oct 2009 23:00:14 +0000

If you read that Wikipedia page carefully, you'll realized that "Open Source" is NOT a license. It's a set of criterias that a product and its license must meet in order to be called "Open Source".

Therefore, whether you can "sell it as your own" still depends on the actual license of the product.

The better question is what is WebKit or OpenOffice licensed under?

By the way, just to add my two cents worth. "Open Source" is muddy because it seems to want software to be "financially free", while the FSF and GPL seems to want software to be "truely free", which is NOT "financially free". How they really mash together, it's hard to understand. My guess is that when you apply "Open Source" on top of GPL, you are just guarantee that the product you produce is "financially free" on the market. Perhaps GPL v3 is on the same path as well.

This muddiness is one reason I've backed GPL v2, but haven't bought into "Open Source" or GPL v3.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 07 Oct 2009 23:19:34 +0000

Like you said, the product and its license must meet the criteria set forth by the Open Source Definition to be called Open Source.

Definition #1:

1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

IANAL, but if it has a restriction that prevents you from selling, then it's not Open Source by definition.

From http://webkit.org :

WebKit is open source software with portions licensed under the LGPL and BSD licenses. Complete license and copyright information can be found within the code.

From http://www.openoffice.org/license.html :

OpenOffice.org uses a single open-source license for the source code and a separate documentation license for most documents published on the website without the intention of being included in the product. The source-code license is the GNU Lesser General Public License. Effective OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta, OpenOffice.org will use the LGPL v3. The document license is the Public Document License (PDL).

gnowk
Thu, 08 Oct 2009 08:42:06 +0000

Just call it something else and sell it.

charlie
Thu, 08 Oct 2009 17:26:50 +0000

for instance, folks used webkit to write their own browser app for the iPhone and they're able to sell it.

Sarcast
Thu, 08 Oct 2009 19:39:47 +0000

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