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

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3
votes
1answer
164 views

Potential legal issues with lock-free / wait-free structures / algorithms

While researching the subject matter - lock-free and wait-free data structures - I'm seeing a worrying amount of mention of patents with this area. I've hobby-researched compression algorithms years ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Can I use libraries published under MPL 2.0 and MIT in a project that uses APL 2.0?

I want to use two particular open-source libraries, in unmodified form, as dependencies of a project. One of the libraries is published under the MIT license; the other library is published under the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Own project: Open source to closed source [duplicate]

In this thread it is discussed if it is legally possible to take on open source project and close its sources. But this seems to refer to someone else's project. So, my question is: What about my own ...
0
votes
3answers
142 views

Including GPL software in closed-code project

Regarding GPL software use in a commercial project, I have the following situation: I would like to commercially distribute an Excel-Macro application, which uses a GPL licensed software (G77 ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Should we include 3rd party open source licenses if only copying syntax?

We're working on a commercial software product that uses partial syntax from 3rd party open source alternatives but none of the code from these. For example, the open source alternative have a static ...
2
votes
3answers
55 views

Is it worth adding identification to trials/demos? [closed]

In the world of pirates stealing software, one common technique is to download a trial or demo, patch it and upload this as the stolen version of a piece of software or game. This makes me think: if I ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Are hashed bank account numbers PCI data?

Background: I work for an NPO which receives large numbers of paper check donations every week. The current process of recording the donations is tedious and done mostly on paper. Because most ...
8
votes
2answers
247 views

How to manage copyright notices from contributors to a BSD licensed project

We have the following BSD license in the LICENSE file: Copyright (c) 2006-2016 SymPy Development Team All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

Using a WrapBootstrap theme in an open source project

I'm developing a desktop analytics application wrapped in Electron (that integrates with an external REST API), and am looking to use one of the WrapBootstrap themes to spruce it up. I'm deciding ...
0
votes
3answers
175 views

Do I have to use GPL for my linux application? If yes, how not to legally?

I've written a linux application that interfaces with a lot of GPL software. My application is written in javascript/HTML/CSS/python and uses MariaDB on a CentOS 7 platform (it also uses jquery and a ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

License issues re: using Angularjs and Bootstrap in a desktop app [closed]

I'm a web developer and I've been asked to write a desktop app. The languages and libraries that I'm most familiar with are standard web tools (Javascript, Angular, Bootstrap). I'd like to use these ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Modifying GPL program to expose internal functions for use in non-GPL program [duplicate]

I know that according to GPLv2 if my non-GPL program links and calls internal functions of a GPL program, my own proprietary program must then be open-sourced (if it's distributed). But suppose that ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

In the GNU Affero GPL, do paying customers count as the 'public'?

In the GNU Affero General Public License, there is a section that reads: The GNU Affero General Public License is designed specifically to ensure that, in such cases, the modified source code ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

Can I use GitHub as my mobile app's data store? [closed]

Given a relatively simple mobile app that consumes semi-static (infrequently updated by hand) data, is it a good idea to simply store said data in a public GitHub repo, in form of a structured ...
-2
votes
1answer
103 views

Can I change a theme and then sell it? [closed]

I am thinking of starting with the "Start Bootstrap" theme from Bootstrap and I want to change it and add stuff, new pages to work with Wordpress and then put it up for sale. http://startbootstrap....
0
votes
3answers
172 views

What exactly is copyrighted, the text of the code itself, or the design? [closed]

I am both the sole developer for a relatively small company and someone who enjoys programming as a hobby. Recently, for one of my personal projects, I started making a framework for a RESTful API and ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Xamarin/Mono LGPL Compliance

The LGPL seems to stipulate that I have to distribute my app in a way that the LGPLed code can be replaced. Xamarin keeps saying that to distribute a mac app in the store, I need to use Xamarin.Mac ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Packing open source software alongside a commercial software

I'm creating a commercial web-app and to avoid compatibility issues between operating systems and browser I want to pack a portable chromium alongside my software and to use it to run the app. GPL2 ...
3
votes
4answers
629 views

Is this the correct way to include this MIT licensed software in my software?

I'm using this script in one of my projects. It's licensed under MIT or Apache 2. I've committed JSON.sh (as in, just the script) to my project, and copy+pasted the MIT license (as it appears in ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Licensing - Restrictive Open Source License OR Custom License [closed]

I have some source code I want to release but I'm unsure of the best license to put on it. From my research such licenses as MIT and GNU are horrible as they offer little to no protection towards ...
3
votes
0answers
75 views

Client and access to Github history [closed]

About a year ago, our company hired a development company to build a mobile app we had been longing to do, but never got the time to develop. With previous bad luck with outsourcing, we got it on ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

How to include licences in commercial software [duplicate]

I work for a commercial organisation that produces closed source paid-for software. We have a legal department and we are currently getting them to help us comply with the terms of the open source ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

What happens if some server side GPLv2 code is leaked? [closed]

So, I know that if you use GPLv2 code in some server side code, you do not need to release that code (as long as you're not distributing it, of course :). However, let's assume that you accidentally ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

At what point can I call GPL code my code? [closed]

I need some legal advice if possible. So I'm going to be implementing some code under OSS license. I realize that even if I rewrote the implementation, I need to include the license. However a lot ...
4
votes
1answer
339 views

Is it legal to bundle OpenJDK with a proprietary application?

I am currently making a video game in Java that will most likely be distributed through Steam. Of course, many Steam users won't have Java already installed in this case. If this happens, I can either ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

GPL - do you need to provide the sourcecode for the dependencies?

Let's say there is a software that is build on basis of a GPL v2 licensed software. This software is being distributed in binary form. GPL requires that the source code and build instructions are made ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Choosing a software license that requires written permission to use commercially

I'm looking for a license that I haven't seen before. I would like a license that allows other people to use my code non-commercially, but unless they have written permission they should not be able ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Enforcing open source software license

How can one enforce open source licensing terms on the usage of its derivative works? For example, if a software is GPL licensed, and I use that software to develop some closed-source application of ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Should I modify an algorithm I coded for my employer if I remember the code perfectly and want to reuse?

My employer asked me to code a simple algorithm from a general description published by someone on the Internet (no code/pseudocode, just plain words and pictures). So to clarify, it's not my employer'...
3
votes
1answer
403 views

Using Unlicensed Code

Say for example, I was to find a github project that was started but not quite complete or that was complete and I wanted to use that code within a larger project but the author of the code has not ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

Can one deny specific parties the right to use and modify otherwise open source software?

I have an open source project that has the attention of some peers, and several of them are eager to contribute. There is one amongst them, however, who I wish (largely for comedic purposes; it's a ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Web software license for redistribution by our customer [closed]

I work in a web agency; we developed a web application for a customer. Once the app was done, the customer asked us the property rights for our whole app so he can sell it to others. In this case, ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

If I find a public web API am I allowed to use it in my application? [closed]

If I find a public web API (by public I mean that isn't protected by any type of authentication) what do I need to do so that I am allowed to use it in my own application? Is it enough to read and ...
-2
votes
1answer
128 views

How to enforce copyright in source code for use by others [duplicate]

I have coded a project for private use. I currently have no intention for commercializing it but the plan might change in the future. A friend of mine now wants to use it for his project, and asks if ...
0
votes
1answer
304 views

How to comply with LGPL 2.1 source-code request?

I have an iOS app that uses the VLCKit framework for it's video player function. Today I got an email from the creator of VLC and in the email is stated this: According to the LGPLv2.1 VLCKit and ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Do I need to handle licenses of immediate dependenies?

Let's assume within my project which is GPLv3 based I'm using a single library called a-lib.jar. That jar itself is licensed using Apache v2 license, so I should be fine with the GPL as long as I ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Is it acceptable to release a paid application to interface with an open-source backend?

I'm currently in development of an application that consists of two parts: PHP files that a user uploads to their own server, and a smartphone application. Because the PHP files are going to reside ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Is early binding legally constrained, while late binding is not? [closed]

Is the following true, or do I have misconceptions about late binding and the law? If I do early binding to a code library, I need to reference that library at design time. In the U.S., I'm not ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

Use Android App Icons for Sharing

I got a question about licensing of android app icons. At the moment I am developing an app and I implemented a share function. The user can select a prefered app to share a text message in a popup ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

MPL: Can I safely build software that uses this license without having my hands tied legally?

I work for a very large company that would like to use RabbitMQ. RabbitMQ is licensed under the Mozilla Public License, v1.1 https://www.rabbitmq.com/mpl.html The problem scenario, as I understand ...
3
votes
1answer
452 views

How to Safely Sell Source Code? [closed]

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
190 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
82 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 /etc/update-motd.d/00-...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
454 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 through.....
0
votes
1answer
714 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
551 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
49 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
262 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
175 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 ...