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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
275 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)" ...
-2
votes
1answer
67 views

Is it legal to send a SMS to non-subscriber? [closed]

I'm building an app where a user can purchase a digital gift. The digital gift can be sent to a friend through text message by my app. Does this violate any spamming acts? Would I be looking at any ...
0
votes
2answers
88 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
116 views

Legal situation regarding source code [closed]

hope you can help We have had a developer working on a project of ours for a long time now; Originally he estimated it as a 12 week build, we are now at 1 year, and many things are making us feel ...
0
votes
2answers
68 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
77 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
201 views

How to say to employer “I own this code” [closed]

I was hired to do simple data entry. Off-time, I made a script that is now throughout the department, speeding everyone up. I spent a few hours on their (employers') time, finalizing a few thinks ...
0
votes
1answer
58 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
109 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
105 views

Using a program to migrate users data from a competitors saas application [closed]

So, here's the conundrum. I have a saas app in a niche legal market. My competitor makes it very difficult for it's users to migrate their data off their servers which consist of mostly legal ...
-4
votes
1answer
89 views

Can I use bluetooth icon in my Android app [closed]

In my app, I'm using bluetooth to connect to a hardware device. Can I simply use the Bluetooth icon to give the user some feedback on the connection state ?
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Software Naming Considerations [closed]

Background I am about to release my first application and am after some ideas regarding what I need to do to insure I don't have any legal issues further down the line (My current issue is around ...
1
vote
2answers
129 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
113 views

Would this qualify as fair use? [closed]

An online Flash game gets taken down due to the domain that it is hosted on expiring, there are no mirrors available. I have recorded my screen whilst I was playing the game whilst it was still ...
0
votes
0answers
45 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
258 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
128 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
61 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 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
77 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
435 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
174 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
51 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
262 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
199 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
154 views

Can Microsoft be held liable for releasing a bad browser? [closed]

I've basically had it with Microsoft releasing a new browser every time they feel like it, I've had to re-code and debug countless websites to comply with new features that Microsoft has implemented ...
5
votes
1answer
623 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
82 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
89 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
167 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
116 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
659 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
317 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
386 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
313 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
169 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
122 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
189 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
186 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
881 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
753 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
89 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
91 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
221 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
604 views

use of LGPL libraries in closed source android software

I'm investigating the legal issues of using LGPL native libraries in a closed source Android software. As for now, my research on the subject shows that using LGPL libraries in closed source software ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

License that grants the initial author all rights of derived/modified work?

Please note that I do not want to argue about the moral aspect of this question. I know that there are probably many different concerns. I have been researching for a special license that could be ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Signing redistributed files

In order to submit a desktop application for the Windows 8 app store, you need to digitally sign any driver or .exe associated with the application. However, the application I was trying to submit ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a tool or process to help FOSS authors agree on a license?

The Evercookie project has several contributors and there is no explicit license for the code. There is currently discussion on the dev mailing list trying to figure out what the licensing options ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Fork dead SVN based project on GitHub

I previously asked this at stack overflow but it was closed, I believe because 'programmers' is a more appropriate venue for this question. I have done some work on the SVN Importer project (Apache ...