This week's book giveaway is in the Servlets forum.
We're giving away four copies of Murach's Java Servlets and JSP and have Joel Murach on-line!
See this thread for details.
The moose likes Java in General and the fly likes Licenses of libs which can be used in commercial application Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Murach's Java Servlets and JSP this week in the Servlets forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Java in General
Bookmark "Licenses of libs which can be used in commercial application" Watch "Licenses of libs which can be used in commercial application" New topic
Author

Licenses of libs which can be used in commercial application

Marjan Stojnev
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 03, 2009
Posts: 16
Hi!

I am working on java project which will be closed-source, commercial application. There are menu very useful third-party libraries which can be used in my application, but I do not know which libraries I can use because of possible license violations.
I am wondering is there a list of software licenses which can be used in commercial projects.
If such list does not exist, can we make one?

For beginning, I know (correct me if I am wrong) that libraries with these licenses can be used in commercial, closed-source applications:
1. Apache2 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0)
2. LGPL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html)
3. MIT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License)

I think that closed-source software cannot use GPL licensed libraries? Am I correct?

Thanks,
Marjan
Marjan Stojnev
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 03, 2009
Posts: 16
What about these licenses?

  • Bouncy Castle License
  • Mozilla Public License
  • BSD License
  • Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) v1.0
  • Ulf Dittmer
    Marshal

    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 41036
        
      43
    Why are you considering open source licenses for a closed-source product?


    Ping & DNS - my free Android networking tools app
    Jesper de Jong
    Java Cowboy
    Saloon Keeper

    Joined: Aug 16, 2005
    Posts: 14074
        
      16

    If you're working for a company, then you should probably let the lawyers of your company decide what is acceptable and what isn't. You can get into a lot of trouble if you, as a lay person who doesn't really understand the details of the law, decide to use some library in the product that your company sells, when somebody later discovers that you are breaking the license in some way. Your company might get sued. This is especially true if you are going to make a software product that you are going to sell (i.e. some piece of software that you are selling to customers).

    Some licenses let you do almost anything, and some require you to make your source code and the source code of the libraries you are using available (such as the GPL). (Note that I am also not an expert on this - I'm not responsible if you make decisions based on what I say about this).

    On almost any product that I've worked on, for many different companies, I've used many open source libraries and tools. Almost all of that software was custom software, specifically written for the specific client, who gets the rights and responsibilities over the source code and software that I wrote.

    So, it isn't as simple as making a list here. You have to carefully read each license and if you have any doubts consult a lawyer that can explain you exactly what your rights and responsibilities are according to the license, for your particular goal.


    Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 7 API documentation
    Scala Notes - My blog about Scala
    Marjan Stojnev
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Mar 03, 2009
    Posts: 16
    Thanks for quick answer, Jasper

    Yes, I am working for company and we will sale our software.
    I understand that there is large number of licenses which can or can not be used in commercial software. Your answer is correct in that way - only the lawyer can know why.

    But I try there to complete an list of "common, opensource" licenses which can be used for this "commercial" purpose with no doubt that anyone who use this libraries can be suited because of license violation.

    I know that there are much more licenses which can not be in this list, but if we create such a list, it will be useful resource for programmers/or companies which can not effort lawyer's services.

    Best regards,
    Marjan
    Ulf Dittmer
    Marshal

    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 41036
        
      43
    But I try there to complete an list of "common, opensource" licenses which can be used for this "commercial" purpose with no doubt that anyone who use this libraries can be suited because of license violation.

    That's the part I don't get - how does a list of open source licenses help you with a closed source project? Searching for "EULA" (end user license agreement) seems much more promising.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 60741
        
      65

    Ulf Dittmer wrote:That's the part I don't get - how does a list of open source licenses help you with a closed source project?

    I don't believe he's looking to use one of these licenses for his project, I believe that he's trying to make sure that it is OK to use various open source projects as part of his project.


    [Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
    Marjan Stojnev
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Mar 03, 2009
    Posts: 16
    Ulf Dittmer wrote:Why are you considering open source licenses for a closed-source product?


    Hi Ulf,
    We are often using opensource projects like Apache common-cli or hibernate or ... for our software...
    Some kind of license (GPL for example) can cause that our code must be "opened" if we use that library.
    That is reason why I am interested in licenses.
     
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
     
    subject: Licenses of libs which can be used in commercial application
     
    Similar Threads
    software llicense question
    Question about MySQL...
    [Jess] Licensing
    Is JAVA OpenSource?
    Need free downloadable link for [ ...] Book