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

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0
votes
1answer
32 views

Read/Write third party SQL Server database

One of my customers has a licensed software for business management and uses a SQL Server as database server (The database is open and I can run queries). They have a need that the current software ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Can I use R via RDOTNET without having to provide the source code of my application

Can I use R via RDOTNET without having to provide the source code of my application. R is covered under GNU GPLv3. RDOTNET is under New BSD. From the RDOTNET description: "R.NET enables the .NET ...
49
votes
10answers
10k views

Legal issues with an NDA that I do not want to sign [closed]

I've been given a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to sign by my current employer that I do not want to sign. It is incredibly open ended and I feel that it should have been a condition of my initial ...
4
votes
1answer
179 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
27 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
147 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
74 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
764 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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
165 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
276 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
236 views

When developing a plugin or a standalone software app can I include in its name the name of the host application? [closed]

I am making a commercial software product and I want to publish it soon. In my product title can I have words like Photoshop, Visual Studio, Delphi, etc? For example, a full name would be something ...
3
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
180 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Hobbyist programmer releasing software with a donate button [closed]

I'd like to start this with a disclaimer that I realize that a full, clear-cut answer should be sought out by a lawyer. I am more so curious about what other users of this community have done Say ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
138 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
1answer
169 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
484 views

can gpl code contain more restrictively licensed code? (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

There is a wordpress theme I am modifying to create my own derived work. This original wordpress theme has the GPLv2 licence in it's root directory, so I assume that the entire theme is GPL code. ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 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
173 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 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 ...
199
votes
20answers
43k views

Should you keep a copy of all the code you write? [closed]

I know the company you work for owns the code and obviously you will get arrested if you try to sell it. But is it uncommon for developers to keep a personal copy of the code they wrote (for future ...
1
vote
5answers
443 views

Is it possible to make something open-source without publishing it?

I've been working on some piece of software while being "employed" by company A. I now want to continue working on the same software while being employed by company B. Company B wants the software to ...
3
votes
4answers
762 views

Selling an open source project: some issues [closed]

I am the creator / main developer of a small sized open source (PHP) project (GPL3). Currently there is a development team of 3 people (me included). This team has been quite active for some time, but ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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
76 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
151 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
11k views

Is it a bad idea to sell Android apps in the Android Market under your real name? [closed]

I'm just getting started in Android development and am working on a few small "practice" apps. As an example, one is a live wallpaper. The others are similar in terms of development effort. When ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Giving employer power of attorney to obtain your inventions [closed]

Is it normal/just for a software company to ask for power of attorney to ensure they obtain patents on anything you invent while you are employed as a programmer? Update: In my case, I went back ...
6
votes
2answers
230 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
879 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
619 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)" ...
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
180 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'...
5
votes
2answers
730 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
443 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 ...