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So I think you want to know if you can work off open-source code, and use
that to implement closed-source code?
You're entirely constrained by copyright. If lines of code from one wind
up verbatim in another, or nearly-verbatim apart from some trivial
modifications (whitespace, var names etc.) that's *definitely* considered
copying, and you've got to respect the license. No way around it.
(btw the same applies for sample code and examples -- although I've never
heard of any company/publisher producing sample code that restricts
However, as Ole noted, BSD-licensed code can be modified and the changes
kept in-house -- most "commercial-friendly" open source licenses allow
this, too. As far as I know Eclipse's license fits the bill.
But if you need to base your work off GPL-licensed code, you've got
to respect the GPL license and its publishing requirements.
Turloch O'Tierney writes:
>> The company I work for makes extensive use of linux, and has released
> PHP development support in its products.
>> I vaguely understand the BSD, GPL and LGPL licenses.
>> As a developer I am going into new areas. How much am I constrained by
> copyright once I go beyond published API, examples and code in the
> public domain, of which there seems very little? I am currently
> interested in developing for eclipse.org as part of my commercial
>> My extreme answer is:
> It all depends on the license. If the source code was proprietary you
> would not even get to look at it, so consider yourself signing a
> nondisclosure agreement when you are looking at it and not submitting
>> The less extreme answer is:
> Programmers learn from everywhere, your past experience is what is
> paid for and that includes having a vague idea how to do things from
> having read open source, and previous companies proprietary code +
>> This may be flame war stuff and a lawyer would give me the best
> answer, but I thought I would spin it out there to get what the
> current developer practice is...
>> Thank you for your time,
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