Concerning the question in title

What do international laws say about using a software which is free only for non-commercial purposes?

I am talking about software which are free for students or in general for non-commercial use. Of course I understand the meaning of such statement and I believe it's fair.

My question is basically: what does according to International laws happen when use certain tools for professional purposes even if you have a non-professional license?

  • 1) International != internal 2) Probably nothing specific, why are you interested in international law specifically?
    – elaforma
    May 13, 2016 at 14:33
  • you're totally right. there was a typo. it's for my personal knowledge and curiosity, since this is a common scenario : many company in the US sell software which are also being used in Australia, Europe... that's why international
    – dragonmnl
    May 13, 2016 at 15:00
  • You will be interested in the national laws of those countries and in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_laws - the latter is a subset of international law
    – elaforma
    May 13, 2016 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


International law says very little about private contracts unless there are statutes in a country where a claim could be filed that would affect the operation of the contract.

Otherwise, the usual rules of construction apply, the usual rules being the rules that a court with jurisdiction to hear the matter would apply.

That is:

  • Software X is available free online for non-commercial (a limited licence)
  • Someone uses the tools for commercial use (professional might be different to commercial, so I'll just keep this simple)
  • A person with the right to enforce the licence to software X becomes aware of this and brings a claim in country Y.
  • The court of country Y, if it has jurisdiction to hear the matter, constructs the meaning of the licence and considers any relevant legislation and makes a finding.

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