Are portable open-source apps legal?

Forum for anything else which doesn't fit in the above forums. Site feedback, random talk, whatever, are welcome.
Post Reply
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:33 am

Are portable open-source apps legal?

Post by cybpsych » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:16 am

i'm curious about this ....

open-source apps, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, etc. are free.

as a user, can i repackage and distribute them into thinstall/PAF-format?

is there any legal issues doing this?



User avatar
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:11 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by beats » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:09 am

Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:33 am

Post by cybpsych » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:16 am

that's good to know! thanks!

Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:31 am

Post by newsposter » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:04 pm

The people over at portable have hashed out the issues and what you have to do to stay within gpl as well as the rights of the original programmers.

The biggest no-no is to hawk the repackaged apps as your own original work instead of a 'simple' repackageing of someone elses work.

User avatar
Posts: 923
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:49 pm
Location: canadia!

Post by bober101 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:03 am

usualy free apps are provided as-is and the GPL liscence asks you to distribute the source untouched.some times this can even extend to the package it self.
XP theme source patcher
patches/overwrites ure default xp visual resources

User avatar
Posts: 735
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:58 pm
Location: .us

Post by code65536 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:15 pm

Each individual app can have its own license with varying levels of restrictiveness. For example, MIT and BSD licenses are generally a lot less restrictive than copyleft licenses like GPL. You should review each one, instead of assuming that it's all GPL (one common mistake is for people to equate GPL to open source because of the publicity that GPL gets).

For example, Chromium uses a BSD license, which just requires that you include the original copyright notice and not use Google's name in promoting your package. Which brings us to the biggest concern: for stuff like Chrome (which is the branded/trademarked version of Chromium) and Firefox (which is the branded/trademarked version of Minefield/Shiretoko), the main thing to watch out for is the use of the trademark, which are separate from the software license.

For the most part, as long as you don't do anything obviously wrong, it's pretty easy to stay within the bounds of open source licenses.
My addons: CmdOpen - HashCheck - Notepad2 - MS Runtimes - DirectX

Into the breach, meatbags!

Post Reply