Under GPL, can I legally put my own logo & copyright, considering that I have made significant changes?


2

I've been running a software startup for the last year - basically the business model is that I customize the software products released under GPL for my end customers. These customizations are quite major, so I would like to brand the original open source product with my own branding.

  1. Under GPL, can I legally put my own logo & copyright, considering that I have made significant changes?
  2. Is there anything that I have to be careful when I am branding, since I do not want to run into legal issues.

Legal GPL

asked Mar 9 '11 at 16:51
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Ajay
13 points

1 Answer


3

I am not a lawyer - but from what I understand:

  1. You can change the branding as much as you like, you may change the logo, name and everything else.
  2. You may not remove or change the copyright notices, but you can add another copyright notice next to it (the exact wording is way behind my expertise but I guess that if you use "portions copyright ABC" or "based on XYZ copyright ABC" you'll be safe).
  3. You must give the full source code including your modifications to your clients, this code must be licensed under the GPL (so the client can change it, resell it or give it to someone else if they want to).
answered Mar 10 '11 at 00:25
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Nir
1,569 points
  • point 3) - don't you have also to make your derived source code "freely available" - not just to the customer? Maye stick it on sourceforge or send to the original author? IMO – Mawg 7 years ago
  • @Mawg - no, from the gnu.org web site (emphasis mine): "the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the **program's users**" - anyone who has access to the binaries must be able to get the source for free, you are not required to give the source to the general public (BTW, the words "freely available" do not appear in any version of the GPL) – Nir 7 years ago

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