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I sold a printer I manufactured and software (that I developed on top of an open source project) that runs the printer to a customer, who reached out and said their mainboard (its a motherboard in the printer with windows 10 installed and has my software and source code copied onto it) has gone bad. They are not under warranty and refused to pay for a new board from me. They then copied all of my source code and software onto another computer and are running their printer and my software off of that, to bypass buying a board from me.

Do I have any legal recourse? Is it legal for them to copy my software and source files onto another computer to run their printer?

They are also talking about making third party accessories for my printers, and altering code to enable to use of third party accessories.

I did not provide any licensing or EULA with the printer or software.

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  • law.stackexchange.com/questions/84747/… already answers - with no EULA, they have no right to copy your software.
    – Therac
    Sep 27, 2022 at 20:36
  • That's my post you're linking to, and it doesn't answer the questions above. This is an entirely newly formatted question with a full scenario I am looking to get answers to.
    – Nah Ledge
    Sep 27, 2022 at 20:38
  • Somehow I have the feeling that your hypothetical abstract example is neither hypothetical nor abstract nor an example. Please note that Law does not provide legal advice, and in fact, there are jurisdictions, where doing so might even be illegal. If you want legal advice, don't ask random weirdos on the interwebs, ask your lawyer. Sep 27, 2022 at 22:16
  • I fail to see where I'm hypothetical in my post? I clearly state I, myself, sold a printer and software. There is no hypothetical. I am here, posting in a forum literally dedicated to questions such as mine, which are asking for advice and knowledge from those with an understanding. How foolish is it to go pay a lawyer before utilizing resources built specifically to ask questions and get answers. I am doing my due diligence prior to throwing away money. Why would a "random weirdo" be interjecting useless remarks in law forum that isn't relevant to them, is the real question.
    – Nah Ledge
    Sep 27, 2022 at 22:37

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When you "sell software" to a person, you almost certainly "sell a license", and not the software in the entire abstract sense (I assume this is not a "work for hire"). If you do not have a written-out license, then the course have to figure out what the license actually was for. Or, in this case, what the entire sales contract was for. From what you're said here, the money was for both a physical printer and a software license.

What you probably wish you had said in an explicit EULA for the software is that "this software can only be installed on specific pieces of hardware X and Y", which forces them to buy a new copy if they change hardware. When they you probably wish you had said in an explicit EULA for the software is that "this software can be installed on only printer and one motherboard at a time". Given the circumstances of the sale, the courts will not find that there was no license at all. With no further facts in evidence, it is unlikely that the courts would find that the agreement was to one hardware-bound installation, insofar as that is not at all a common license condition. Of course, there may be more relevant facts here than you have mentioned.

I don't understand what is involved in making third party accessories for your printers, and altering code to enable to use of third party accessories. Altering licensed code is typically forbidden by usual licenses, OTOH you can't forbid a person to modify open source code, so it depends on what exactly they are proposing to modify.

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  • Sorry, I'm a little confused - are they allowed to do what they did then?
    – Nah Ledge
    Sep 27, 2022 at 21:23
  • Also I make and sell a roller accessory, and they bought one from Amazon and enabled a piece of code I had coded to be hidden that allows them to use the amazon accessory without buying mine.
    – Nah Ledge
    Sep 27, 2022 at 21:24

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