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
2answers
375 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
176 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
100 views

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

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
81 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
1k 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
187 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
65 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
346 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
409 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
2k 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
87 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
143 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
500 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
143 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
687 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
374 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
604 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
574 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
226 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
166 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
215 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
201 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
977 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
891 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
343 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
1k 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
175 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
163 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
97 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
287 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
97 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
428 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
295 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
80 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
3k 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
113 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
820 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
380 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
277 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
66 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
298 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
1k 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
226 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
105 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
171 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Starting consulting while employed - conflict of interest [closed]

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
119 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
576 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
767 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 ...