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To hopefully make this question more clear, here is an example:

Software company X creates software product Y under the freemium business model — the user of Y is allowed to use it at no cost with some restrictions, but must pay for extra features.

In the license, it is stated that by purchasing the extra features of Y, the user is allowed to use the extra features. However, it does not explicitly state that the user cannot use the extra features if they do not purchase them.

Does this create a loophole in which the user can legally use a modified version of the software that allows the extra features to be used without payment? If something is not explicitly denied, is it allowed?

1 Answer 1

5

No

When I go into my grocery store, I can use the lettuce if I pay for it. The grocer does not explicitly state that I can't use the lettuce if I don't pay for it but that doesn't mean I can.

Replace "lettuce" with "software" (or any other property you don't own) and you have the same situation.

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  • Does this change if, for example, the company uses a license key to check if the user has purchased the premium features, and that it is stated in the license by providing a key, the extra features are unlocked?
    – yeah22
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 8:53
  • @yeah22 given thats a fairly widespread business model (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware etc all use it), you can expect it to be rock solid in such a way that there is a copyright infringement or violation of license argument they can get you under if you try an end run around it.
    – user28517
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 9:23
  • Thanks for your answer.
    – yeah22
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 20:58

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