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

1
vote
1answer
203 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
909 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
783 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

mobile app data copyright question [closed]

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
263 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
880 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
171 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

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

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
227 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Is this an open source license?

I have been messing with code in The Unix Archive and have found that most of the code references a (non existent) license, however, this is in the root of the mirrors and apparently covers all of the ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

License Requirements for Including Dual-Licensed Open-Source Software

How do you opt into one software license and not the other when the distributor gives the consumer more than one choice? For example I would like to use the DataTables JavaScript library in my web ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

GPL and OpenJDK: Questions regarding source headers

I have some legal questions regarding OpenJDKs source header: /* * Copyright (c) 1997, 2008, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. * DO NOT ALTER OR REMOVE COPYRIGHT NOTICES OR THIS ...
5
votes
1answer
755 views

Are you allowed to “copy” the GUI/Features of another application

I'm making a app which is based heavily on another application that serves a similar purpose. I'm not actually planning on selling it, but I'm wondering whether it would even be legal for me to sell ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Should I include terms of agreement and privacy policy in my iOS application?

I am developing mobile based social network with backend and I cache some data from facebook. I asssume I should include a kind of Terms of use and privacy policy statement in the application? is it ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Should I obtain a licence from Oracle before developing Java software? [duplicate]

Should I obtain a licence from Oracle before developing Java software? I'm in the preliminary planning stages of developing a server on top of the the Hadoop/Java platforms. I'm not much at all ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

MorphAdorner Licensing confusion

I want to use the MorphAdorner library available free for commercial use. But it uses several other libraries that restrict commercial use (like Gate etc). Can I use this library in my application?
3
votes
2answers
681 views

Are there any industry standards that define code quality?

Our specific situation is that we are creating an agreement between ourselves and another team for shared control or use of a PHP based web application that we have been building. We have a set of ...
0
votes
4answers
349 views

Modify then sell another person's code [closed]

I am working, with a co-author, on a data modeling toolbox that will someday be sold. Part of the functionality is the extremely common PCA, which we are doing in a more robust way. Thus, we need a ...
0
votes
3answers
270 views

What do small business people do with regards to 'legal' when selling software [closed]

For those who have sold software successfully over the Internet, after going to the effort of writing the software, creating a website, get a domain name, hosting the website, setting up a merchant ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Can I build a closed source plugin for a LGPL library?

If I link a program dynamically to a LGPL library (here GTK+/GLib), I'm allowed to distribute the program on my own terms (non-copyleft). Now, the LGPL library provides loadable modules. Place a ...
3
votes
1answer
217 views

How to comply with the Java ASM License?

I am designing an open source Java library that I will likely release with an MIT license, and its sole dependency is the ASM dynamic bytecode injection library. According to their license: ...
0
votes
2answers
777 views

Ext JS licensing issue

First of all I'm not asking for legal advice but just checking if anyone agrees with my suspicions. That might help in convincing Sencha to change their license. Their commercial license says: ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

Does any well-known license require to make modifications available when only derived *output* is published?

Is there a way to make sure that modifications to free software are released even when no binaries of modified code are conveyed? Though it may sound odd and from what I understand, e.g., GPL requires ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Copyright/General Law for Publishing Online Software

I'm planning on releasing a program I made, but I'm not sure exactly how to ensure people don't just steal it. The price point is $1, but I'm not selling it through an "app store" or anything so I ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Would it be possible to publish my code on an official site with a third-party library?

I'm building a rather large and extensive wrapper in Delphi for an email system called Mandrill. There are wrappers for this API in many other languages, but not for Delphi. So, I'm hoping to produce ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Starting consulting while employed - conflict of interest

First of all I am not after legal advice. This is a bit TL;DR but I have a summary at the bottom, I'm explaining it all so people can offer insightful advise. Situation I need to explain my present ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

Which license for an open source project which may be, but is not intended to be, used as a bot in some apps?

I'm wondering if there is some license which I could put on my website on which I could publish an open-source application that potentially could be used for purposes of cheating in one game for ...
3
votes
2answers
406 views

Is there a license for selling a software with the sources so buyer can make modifications without claiming ownership of the code or distributing it?

I would like to sell a software that has some open source competitors. Therefore I would like to include the source code with the binaries so that the company buying it can modify it as it wishes. The ...
10
votes
4answers
655 views

I have a previous invention (software / framework) that I plan to use on my new job. What happens to my copyright if I improve it during the job?

I have filled that standard form where you list your previous inventions before starting your new job so the employer is legally aware you have the copyright over them. But if I want to use this ...
1
vote
1answer
474 views

Copyrighting simple JavaScript code

Googling around I found a particular page: PCB Via Calculator Looking the page code I found in the JavaScript code: //copyright circuitcalculator.com //please do not copy without permission ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Can an EULA restrict what you can use an application for? [closed]

I realise this might be offtopic here - but I couldn't find a better place in the stackexchange family. And this question has simply been bugging me for years.. What I wonder is: can an eula define ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Developing a GPL replacement from public documentation. Any legal problems?

In a program I am developing, I need to use an improved ListView. The ObjectListView seems to satisfy my needs, except it is GPL and thus unusable in my commercial application. I believe, however, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Am I allowed to create closed-source software with open-source code?

I was using a popular music package (Ableton Live) when I opened the legal section of the helpfile and saw that the program contained code licenses that appeared to be both free as in freedom and free ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I (reasonably) refuse to sign an NDA for pro bono work? [closed]

A friend of mine (let's call him Joe) is working on a promising project, and has asked me for help. As a matter of friendship I agreed (orally) not to discuss the details, but now he has a potential ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What constitutes a programming language and how does one copyright a programming language?

I've decided to create a programming language of my own, mostly just for fun. However, I got interested in the legal aspect of it all. You can, for example, licence specific programs under specific ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What exactly does the condition in the MIT license imply?

To quote the license itself: Copyright (C) [year] [copyright holders] Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

When can I publish a software tool written at work?

I'm working on a software problem at work that is fairly generic, but I can't find a library I like to solve it, so I'm considering writing one myself (at least a bare-bones version). I'll be writing ...
1
vote
1answer
351 views

GPL question : web application using Imagick and GhostScript => Which would be the final licence?

I am a bit confusing and I need your help to undertand my problem. I have developed a web application (PHP, JQuery) for one of my customer. Recently, my customer ask me to add a new feature ...
0
votes
1answer
464 views

Is it legal and ethical to reverse engineer software to port it to another system? [closed]

I love gaming, I love games that allow modding and I love linux. But the fact that most games right now are targeted for windows (consoles aside), most mods and modding tools are also targeted for ...
2
votes
3answers
279 views

Because of over incumbent patents, is it possible to safely develop any software without the risk of legal action? [closed]

Take this System and method for restricting user access rights on the internet based on rating information stored in a relational database There are hundreds of thousands of them out there. So ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

Is it legal to take the icon/graphic file found online to use in software project?

For example, like this icon website: http://www.iconspedia.com/ There is a lot icon there, (I just can't draw myself, I am not good at it.....), I wonder if is OK to use them in my software project? ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Application of LGPL license on a simple algorithm

The "scope" of the GNU license is troubling me : I know it has been answered many times ( here, here, ... ) but shouldn't we take into consideration the complexity and originality of a code before ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Does license matter if I host a maven repository?

If I make a maven repository available for others to use, do I have to get permission form the authors of those software that I host in my repository even if they are free software? Can I host free ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Who owns the IP rights of the software without written employment contract? Employer or employee? [closed]

I am a software engineer who got an idea, and developed alone an integrated ERP software solution over the past 2 years. I got the idea and coded much of the software in my personal time, utilizing my ...
1
vote
2answers
469 views

GPLv2 - Multiple AI chess engines to bypass GPL

I have gone through a number of GPL-related questions, the most recent being this one: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3248823/legal-question-about-the-gpl-license-net-dlls/3249001#3249001 I'm ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

To refund or not to refund this client? [closed]

I'd really appreciate your advice on an ongoing project. I presented my client with a proposal and design samples which he approved, and he paid in full instead of the 50% upfront deposit as I'd ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Using Metro style in my web applications

I love the Metro UI (Modern UI/Windows 8 style UI, whatever) and would like to have the "tile" design on my site as well. Something like this or this. Am I allowed to do this or do I have to contact ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it okay to rollback code if your client refuses to pay you? [closed]

A friend of mine did some contracting work to add localization support to an existing mobile app. He was not contracted to add any other features or fix any already existing bugs. He has finished his ...