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

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-1
votes
2answers
94 views

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

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
40 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 ?
-3
votes
0answers
50 views

Is it mandatory to have a 'Terms of service agreement' for a web based service? [closed]

We are rolling out a new web based service. It will contain user personal information such as Phone, Address, email, etc. Are we forced to add create such a 'Terms of service' and publish it on our ...
5
votes
7answers
827 views

Is it legal to reflector some .NET code and use it in a commercial application?

I'm working on a commercial application that requires .NET 4.0 Client Profile, but I need to make a call to HttpUtility.ParseQueryString, which is not included in the Client Profile but it is in the ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
12 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
93 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
86 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
109 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
566 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
0answers
44 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
219 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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
93 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 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
74 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
288 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
396 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
2answers
169 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
248 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
50 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
182 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
146 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
531 views

Turning in code you developed in your company as homework assignments

I'm currently running a start-up with a buddy and I noticed that some of my university assignments could be finished by simply copying some code from some of the programs we've developed. Are there ...
3
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
656 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
137 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
114 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
84
votes
14answers
8k views

Is it illegal to rewrite every line of an open source project in a slightly different way, and use it in a closed source project?

There is some code which is GPL or LGPL that I am considering using for an iPhone project. If I took that code (JavaScript) and rewrote it in a different language for use on the iPhone would that be ...
6
votes
4answers
857 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
244 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
291 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
362 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?
10
votes
5answers
736 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
2answers
158 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
116 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
182 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

How to get a legal advice for a open source project ? [closed]

I have a question about open source software. Questions: Where do you get legal advice from? Do you have to find a lawyer specialised in software issues right from the bat, or do you get legal ...
181
votes
23answers
29k views

Should you keep a copy of all the code you write?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
12
votes
11answers
1k views

Do I own copyright of program I made in own time? [closed]

I created a software package that aids electrical engineers with common calculations used on site (substations to be specific). I created the package in my own time, without being asked and without ...
2
votes
0answers
87 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
84 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
200 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
552 views

AGPL-compatible license

I am using a java library licensed under AGPL3. However, I would like to license my own work as BSD, such that my code could then be integrated in proprietary projects if one strips the library. Will ...
3
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
116 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 ...