Questions about legal problems which may arise during software development or questions about software law, patents and copyrights in general.

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-1
votes
1answer
64 views

Which license should I choose for binary patches? [closed]

I want to publish my work which consists of patches for program binary. I do not have source code of the program and have no way to get it. Since binary patch does not quite meet definition of source ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

How to Safely Sell Source Code?

I'm a seller with a prospective buyer for some of my source code. I'd like to structure the transaction so as to protect each of our interests, but there's one aspect that I haven't been able to ...
10
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there something like Creative Commons licenses for privacy policies?

I've recently read Reading the Privacy Policies You Encounter in a Year Would Take 76 Work Days and was pretty shocked that it was that bad. So I thought how this could be improved. Creative Commons ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Legalities of modifying Ubunt MOTD

I made few modifications to few specific Ubuntu files for showing my own custom messages in place of Ubuntu specific messages. For this, I have made changes to following files ...
-1
votes
2answers
153 views

Do I retain personal usage rights on my code if I use the framework to quick-start a project at a company? [closed]

I have spent a year making a .NET MVC website (in my personal time). I have started a contract for a company 2 weeks ago and thought I'd be kind and used the framework/skeleton from my personal ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Is it fair to patent workarounds? [closed]

While developing a FAT32 driver for my bootloader, I thought to make it complete by adding the long file name support. While watching around for some specification, and I also found articles about ...
2
votes
3answers
227 views

Is a complete rewrite against the license/eula of this software?

Okey, so I have for a while now been thinking of rewriting the minecraft server, this time in a language called golang. It's just a example project that I can learn a new programming language ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Can I use FontAwesome fonts with my own custom CSS files?

I want to use the WebFont icon library FontAwesome (FA) for all the icons in my project. They are using SIL OFL 1.1 for the fonts and MIT License for the source files. My problem is that, I want to ...
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

What is the legality of making a mobile app version of an existing card or board game? [closed]

I see that the market is full of mobile apps based on card/board games. For example, do a search for "Taboo" and there are many results which are not published by Hasbro Inc. Is this legal? The top ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Using a binary from a project that violates GPL

There is an open source project which uses GPLv2. It had numerous releases that complied with GPL in the past where source code was available for given binaries. The newest source code is about 18 ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Distributing GPL licensed software that optionally links to non-GPL licensed libraries

I can find lots of information regarding the restrictions imposed on linking GPL licensed libraries from non-GPL licensed software. However, I'd like to do the opposite - I'd like to distribute some ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

How restrictive are the GPL's linking restrictions really?

To my basic understanding, software licenses only apply when redistributing software. Even if I am wrong about this in general, the GPL states that you need not agree to the GPL in order to receive or ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Deny use of my library to compete a certain company

I'm developing a library for reading/writing a file format of a program created by a certain company. The guys from that company were so kind that they provided me with a documentation for their ...
3
votes
2answers
328 views

How can I close my Open Source project and what is required from me in order to make it closed source?

Let's say I wanted to close my "GPL v 2.0 (or similar)" licensed project, to which I'm the only contributor, and make it closed source. Do I still need to make the existing "GPL v 2.0 (or similar)" ...
0
votes
3answers
167 views

Cloning existing software for commercial purposes - legal implications

I have been asked to clone some existing software for a company. Basically its an old 16 bit DOS console app, which was supplied free of charge in I believe the late 80's. Having replaced the machine ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

Choosing name for open-source project — how to view existing trademarks/names used for other programs? [closed]

I'm trying to choose a good name for a new open-source project. The problem is, there is already so much software in the world that Google search reveals one or more existing programs with every good ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Is “poaching” an acceptable way to get open-source volunteers?

It is well known that tech companies frequently try to recruit employees from competitors. However, is it common for open-source projects to seek potential volunteers from companies in similar ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Linking against LGPL - How to share the code?

I'm working on an Open Source software project (LGPL) which uses another LGPL-licensed software. To make it easier for users and developers I'm delivering and linking against the compiled thirdparty. ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

What do these cocoonJS terms of use mean

I was looking at the terms of use for CocoonJS and noticed this section License Grant. By uploading User Content via the Services, you expressly grant, and you represent and warrant that you have ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the meaning of MODULE_LICENSE_BSD_LIKE in Android source code? [closed]

In Android source code, we see files like MODULE_LICENSE_APACHE2, MODULE_LICENSE_BSD_LIKE, MODULE_LICENSE_W3C. An outside observer would think that these specify the intended license that applies to ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

Optionally Using GPL Library via System API in Closed-Source Application

Please consider the following situation: You write a closed-source application, let's call it A. A depends on a system API (i.e. provided by the OS), that is in turn configurable to use different ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Can Google use my users data?

I have a webapp that uses Google App Engine and Google Cloud Datastore services. But reading the new Google Cloud terms of services I notice this part: Further, Customer will notify its End Users ...
3
votes
1answer
289 views

NDA's in interviews

I have interviews scheduled for two, large, respectable, somewhat competing, American companies. One of them (the one for which the interview takes place first) has asked that I bring a signed NDA to ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Can the GitHub pull request process constitute an electronic signature of a CLA?

I appreciate the need for a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) in open source software projects and even understand that some tools are starting to make this process easier (like the low-friction ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

When using the Apache license, is there still a need for a Contributor License Agreement (CLA)?

I can certainly see the need for CLAs with a terser license like MIT or BSD, but the more verbose Apache seems to already have that type of verbiage in it. I would prefer to not add this level of ...
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votes
1answer
77 views

Can I distribute open-source software that uses the syntax/interface of a proprietary program (Stata)?

Stata is a proprietary statistical program used largely by economists. I want to write a basic multiple regression package that uses the same commands as Stata, e.g., regress var1 var2 var3, robust if ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Release as open source after granting usage rights?

I have written software and have granted usage rights to different companies per contract. Is it possible to change the software licence to an open source licence afterwards? At what circumstances is ...
0
votes
3answers
674 views

Legal issues of creating a version of a classic game (Snake) [closed]

I recently created a version of Snake, the classic game popularized by Nokia, and I am planning on using it as an example of my game development skills. I just want to know if there are any copyright ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

What to do if my own opensource code greatly resembles another project's code?

I'm writing a Java class, part of an opensource game development framework under the Apache 2.0 license. There is another framework, under the same license, that happens to also have a Java class ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Reassigning Ownership Automatically

Are there any software licenses that automate the reassignment of ownership? For instance, in a usual circumstance, you have a license, and then you make all contributors sign off that by ...
3
votes
4answers
275 views

Source code vs source files? [closed]

I'm in a situation with my company where this may be an important distinction. Is there any distinction between "source code" and "source files" in a technical context? Is there any distinction ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

Is it ethical or even legal to track user data/metrics using IP [closed]

This one is a bit tough. It is publicly available information, is it not? But it's can also be used maliciously. So is it legal/ethical to store and/or gather information on users based on IP? It's ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Terminating a freelance contract before completion [closed]

I've been building a large web application for a company. Initially the project owner appointed a Graphic/Web designer to complete all design/front end works. Me and who ever I bring in to complete ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a certain way that I have to include a library and its license?

I know this may be a dumb question, but I'm only 15 so I don't really know how the legal part of it works. When I choose a .dll to be included in my project, Visual Studio only includes the .dll file ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Using MS-PL licensed library for internal company use

I want to use a MS-PL licensed library in a proprietary software, but it'll run inside my company, with no external distribution. Does the license allows this kind of usage or it constitutes a ...
0
votes
1answer
253 views

Making Agile and DevOps methodology compatible with PCI requirements [closed]

Would like to hear from those working in a PCI compliance environment and is practicing agile development and devops methodology, how you maintain compliance with PCI requirements. Specifically, what ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

Are there Any Concerns with Importing Document Files From a Competing Product?

I have a new product that serves the same purpose as my competitor's long-standing product. One thing I have considered doing is allowing my program to import document files created by their product ...
18
votes
5answers
671 views

Found a better solution to a problem at work - should I deter from posting the code snippet online?

I think most of us, programmers, used Stack Overflow to solve every day problems: looked for an efficient algorithm to do something. Now imagine a situation: you have a problem to solve. Googled a ...
1
vote
1answer
334 views

Why is there an alternative download page of python for China?

On http://python.org there are two download pages, http://python.org/download/ for international users and http://python.org/getit/ for Chinese users. When accessed from a country other than china, ...
9
votes
3answers
439 views

What happens if I do not explicitly state “This program comes with absolutely no warranty”?

And lets say, my application is a simple feed reader. Does my app really have to include the no warranty notice?
1
vote
1answer
426 views

If I send an IPA over TestFlight, can it be used to deploy to the app store?

I am currently working for a small startup. I was previously under contract, now I am working for equity (no pay). The thing is, there is not yet a signed agreement in place as the details are being ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Reusing code across several clients' projects [closed]

I've been a freelance web developer for 6 years. I have an issue that's bothering me and I'd like some advice. (Do note: I want advice from experienced freelance developers, or people who have been in ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

“Open source” proprietary software licenses? [closed]

I am writing some software that (for once - usually I open source stuff on sourceforge/github/etc.) I plan on selling. To each source file, I want to attach a proprietary software license that doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

What does it mean for the JSON interchange format to have a license?

A recent flurry of comments on a JSHint issue alerted me to the fact that the JSON data-interchange format has a license. The content of this license can be debated elsewhere. What I'm unclear on is ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Is it legal to imitate how an API looks? [closed]

I want to make an open-source graph thing which looks and behaves very similarly to Google Visualization API, but it would be based on Flot. Is this legal, or must I not imitate Google Visualization ...
6
votes
4answers
905 views

Does an Open Source license exist that allows me to retain rights to revoke usage of software/source at any time, for any reason, and without warning?

Does an Open Source license exist that allows me to retain rights to revoke usage of software/source at any time, for any reason, and without warning? I want to allow others to use my software and ...
11
votes
5answers
772 views

Would copyrights drop if I re-write open source project into another language?

I have re-written an open source project from java to haxe, then from haxe compiled to javascript, with totally different UI So, the question is, is the code considered to be mine after rewriting it ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

mobile app data copyright question

I want to develop a mobile app for itinerary of major sport event. My confusion is whether there will be a copyright problem in sharing the schedules, venue of matches, player statistics and ticket ...
0
votes
0answers
105 views

Distributing cryptographic software on GitHub

I am developing a cryptographic program and i am planing on distributing it using GitHub, But there are some regulations on the export of cryptographic software, how do make myself not liable if ...
3
votes
1answer
255 views

Dirty hack to avoid GPL licensing

I've just found something strange in a code written by company which I work for. In an embedded software where dynamic linking doesn't exists, shared library (released on a GPL licence) is copied into ...