A common misunderstanding with Open Source is that it is the same as public domain, i.e. “I can do whatever I want with it”. In actuality, Open Source licenses usually come with certain restrictions, and this page was written in an attempt to clear this up a bit as far as DocFetcher is concerned.

DocFetcher is licensed under the Eclipse Public License (EPL). This means, according to Wikipedia (bold emphasis added):

The receiver of EPL-licensed programs can use, modify, copy and distribute the work and modified versions, in some cases being obligated to release their own changes.

The emphasized part is explained further down the Wikipedia article (again, bold emphasis added):

According to article 1(b) of the EPL, additions to the original work may be licensed independently, including under a commercial license, provided such additions are “separate modules of software” and do not constitute a derivative work. Changes and additions which do constitute a derivative work must be licensed under the same terms and conditions of the EPL, which includes the requirement to make source code available.

Wikipedia has an entire article about what “derivative work” means; basically, as far as I understand it (and I'm not a lawyer), it all boils down to the following:

  • You can use DocFetcher in its unmodified form free of charge, both for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • If you redistribute DocFetcher bundled with your own additions (= non-derivative work), you can choose any license for you additions, including commercial ones.
  • If you modify DocFetcher's source code (= derivative work), you are required to release those changes under the Eclipse Public License.

For further information, see the Eclipse License FAQ.

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