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Questions tagged [licensing]

For questions about permission and terms to use intellectual property.

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Are terms of service legal contracts?

Are ToS considered contracts in and of themselves, enforceable under contract/civil law? Generally I'm talking about the Common Law systems in the major regions (UK, North America and Oceania). ...
Terms of Endearment's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can "factual" intellectual property be protected?

As noted in this answer: Facts and information cannot be copyrighted. Just because a work is copyrighted, doesn't mean every part of that work is copyrighted, and factual information conveyed ...
feetwet's user avatar
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31 votes
3 answers
6k views

Do disclaimers need to be capitalized?

Are disclaimers of warranty, liability, and the like legally required to be in all-caps? For example, the "disclaimer of warranty" section from the GNU GPL: THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,367
12 votes
1 answer
908 views

Trade restrictions on open source software

Apparently the US has put Huawei on a trade blacklist that prevents US companies to trade with Huawei. With hardware and proprietary software it is straightforward how this can be executed (don't make ...
Dakkaron's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
317 views

Is licensing required to use an excerpt of a song within a recording?

I'm currently recording a cover version of a song for inclusion on a compilation album which will be sold on Bandcamp. Because Bandcamp does not pay mechanical royalties, the organiser of the ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 135
10 votes
2 answers
481 views

At what point and how should I change the license/Copyright notice when I create a derivative?

If I take a piece of software that is licensed as MIT (quoted at the end), and use it as a scaffold to create for my own thing, do I need to keep including the old license perpetually? This would seem ...
Shwouchk's user avatar
  • 201
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I get my answers deleted from Stack Exchange?

According to a moderator statement in meta that I read, Stack Exchange claims a "license" on the answers and questions which a user has posted. From a copyright standpoint can a claim be made or a ...
Cicero's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
307 views

Is something including an unmodified work considered a derivative work?

Let's say I want to publish a book which contains an extract of a Wikipedia article. I don't want to modify the extract in any way, I just want to copy it into my book. Wikipedia text seems to be ...
Putokas's user avatar
  • 123
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

Do I need to include the full text of the MIT license in the UI of my app?

We're using an open-source software library which is distributed under the MIT license. The key line of the license is as follows: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be ...
Ky -'s user avatar
  • 479
6 votes
1 answer
188 views

If no licence is distributed with an application/source code, what license applies by default if any?

If no license is distributed with an application/source code, what license applies by default if any from a legal standpoint? Edit: If bob makes source code. And bob has never placed any license in ...
Nackloose's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

How are open source licenses valid without consideration?

I'm not a lawyer or law student in any capacity, but I've read in multiple sources that a contract is not valid unless there is consideration for both parties. With this in mind, how can licenses for ...
orlp's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
122 views

Should I copyright my original code before registering the current version?

I have a question regarding best practices when it comes to code copyright. The company I'm working for would like to register their code in the US Copyright Office. However, they first published ...
Ana's user avatar
  • 9
35 votes
5 answers
11k views

Do the UK TV licensing rules disregard innocent until proven guilty?

I don't have a TV Licence. I use Netflix and Amazon Prime. In the UK you have to state that you don't have a TV Licence and sign a declaration to that effect every 2 years (unless you then get a ...
user6916458's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can a software license validly restrict place of use, or impose restrictions on the type or purpose of use

This question is inspired in part by Open Source License restrictions and recent sanctions against Russia and in particular by this answer Can a software license impose restrictions on the place where ...
David Siegel's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

Who owns copyright of video gameplay captures?

There are many videos on Youtube and it doesn't seem they are being removed, so one might conclude that they do not infringe copyright of the game publisher. But it could also be that for copyright ...
gaazkam's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
227 views

Can a provider of content restrict use of the content when they have no intellectual property rights to it?

In this question I asked whether someone who recovers an old, noncopyrighted work via technical processes can claim copyright on the result. The answer suggested that they could not, but that they ...
BrenBarn's user avatar
  • 525
4 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is resale of Windows 10 keys legal?

Windows 10 (pro, enterprise, any) that supposedly have never been activated so far are (re) sold online for 5$-20$. I assume that those are key that have initially been given out by microsoft in ...
matthias_buehlmann's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
151 views

Where is the line between idea/expression dichotomy?

Just wondering where idea become expression. Let's take The Lord Of The Ring as an example, if i want to write a boook about two alchemist heading to a tower in order to destroy the ring of evil, ...
user6982's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Familial exemption for investment advisor representative

My parents have asked me to trade for them and they offered me a fraction of any profit. My plan is to set up a limited trade agreement and then manage the account's trades. Before doing so, I want ...
Speckles's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Rubik's cube image rights

Some time ago I have created an Android application as a part of my bachelor's thesis. The application can advice user how to solve Rubik's Cube, and user also can play the Cube using touchscreen. ...
Firzen's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
96 views

How can one verify a purportedly freely licensed image on a user-content site?

Based partly on comments to this question, how can a person who finds an image on a site, such as flickr, that hosts user-uploaded images verify that the it is in fact free to use. Suppose that the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
66 views

Implications of changing terms of a free license (LGPL, Apache, MIT, Eclipse, etc) after I started using software on old terms

While creating my software (as a developer / startup owner) I rely on the fact that I can use some (software) library for free. I also rely on the fact that I can use it for commercial purpose and ...
Code Complete's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

Can the permission to implement a specification be restricted?

Let's say I invent a new image file format and release the specification to the public. Is it possible to only allow GPL projects to implement this specification? Or is this not possible in the U.S.? (...
zomega's user avatar
  • 549
1 vote
2 answers
96 views

America's Cup boat model

We would like to build a model of one of the America's Cup team boats (team NZ-winner). Like the attached image. My question is about all the trademarks on the boats. Will it be possible to replicate ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
321 views

how are companies like metasploit and trustedsec and rapid7 legally protected?

rapid7 and trustedsec develop professional penetration testing software rapid7 also sells a pro version of metasploit...my question is that if someone uses their software illegally how are those ...
tikko's user avatar
  • 25
0 votes
2 answers
177 views

License for a software project - free for individual users, pay for companies?

If a software utility developer desired to issue a license to his or her software for free for non-commercial use or for individual users, while restricting the free usage of the software by companies ...
Ronen Ness's user avatar
58 votes
4 answers
11k views

What laws would Jesus be breaking if he were to turn water into wine today?

In the Bible is Jesus’ first miracle: of turning water into wine: “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. [...] Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 1,118
22 votes
2 answers
16k views

Can a user sell my software (MIT license) without modification?

Basically, I was just wondering if I release a piece of open source software under the MIT license, does that mean that someone could take it and sell it onto people without doing any modification to ...
Majored's user avatar
  • 343
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Can one take BSD licensed code and distribute it under GPL?

Prompted by https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/304/can-i-take-bsd-licensed-code-and-distribute-it-under-gpl. The OP asks: Can I take code which is licensed under a permissive open ...
cnst's user avatar
  • 5,058
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it piracy to obtain software you purchased in an alternate way?

Lets say you purchased software in the 90s or early 2000s, but lost the license key and or the disc. Another possibility is the company is no longer supporting and or does not provide older versions ...
LateralTerminal's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a copyright license by default revocable or irrevocable?

If I grant someone a license to use a copyrighted work of mine, do I need to detail my ability to revoke the license within the terms of the license grant, or is that ability inherent to all licenses? ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 3,339
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Who owns the right to the code generated by GitHub Copilot?

This question was somewhat inspired by this Meta SO question I found this other question... but that is more general. When someone uses GitHub Copilot does the person that is using the tool own the ...
cocomac's user avatar
  • 364
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can an artist revoke his Creative Commons [CC] content?

Let's say an artist released a photo under a CC licence (for concreteness let's assume the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International). You find the photo interesting and save it for later use, ...
Hooked's user avatar
  • 307
10 votes
3 answers
20k views

Will using a cover of a song in a film free me from legal obligations?

I want to use the song "Whole Lotta Love" in my upcoming film. Obviously the song is copyrighted by led Zeppelin. So I'm planning to get a few musicians and cover the song and then use it as a ...
Black Dagger's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Free, conditional permission/service: contract or not?

This can be seen as another "is a free licence a contract?" question (inspired by this and this), but it focuses on the very basics of the underlying relation between parties. Alice and Bob ...
Greendrake's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
6k views

Are you allowed to solve an exercise from a book more than seven times?

In Germany, apparently, you are allowed to make a "Privatkopie" at most seven times. Are you allowed to write down an exercise on a device using a note taking app more than seven times? Does ...
Someone's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

When, if ever, do you need license to read (and only read) copyrighted material in the USA?

I know that a person needs license to copy, reproduce, redistribute, sell, and create derivative works of copyrighted material. However, do you ever need a license to read it (assuming you're not ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
3k views

Open Source License restrictions and recent sanctions against Russia

Does there exist an open source license like GPL, GPLv2, BSD and so on which allows author to prohibit usage of the licensed software in some country?
Vladimir Kunschikov's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
161 views

What licensing issues are relevant when writing software using methods from research papers?

I am writing some software that uses methods described in a few papers. The paper describes algorithms in terms of mathematical functions and equations. An example is, for instance, this one). The ...
Jean-Bernard Pellerin's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
519 views

Software content library license requires "including a valid copyright notice". How does it limit my use?

I recently purchased licenses for two pieces of music production software; specifically, those are virtual instruments with a library of sound samples. The end-user license agreement terms for both ...
rhino's user avatar
  • 163
5 votes
1 answer
9k views

Can I use the sound files, generated by the Google Cloud Text-to-Speech freely?

Google sells access to their TTS service at https://cloud.google.com/text-to-speech/. They advertise that you can use it for free, if you use less than 4 million letters (1 million for WaveNet voices)....
someonr's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
113 views

(Re-)formatting and displaying of software licenses/privacy policy/impressum

I'm currently trying to include and render all the software licenses of products which are used by my software, a privacy policy and an impressum (necessary by German law; stating contact information)....
DanielB's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
189 views

Are loose in-box licensing agreements binding?

I just purchased a vacuum cleaner and upon opening the box, there was a loose sheet of paper with a licensing agreement. The agreement said that using the product constituted acceptance of the ...
Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
143 views

Is it possible to license only parts of a derivative work?

This is kind of a follow-up question to one I asked earlier. I thought that if I generalize it, it would be better to ask it separately. I want to create a derivative work of another work, which is ...
Putokas's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
2 answers
402 views

Is there a way to open source license my music?

I own all components of the songs- beat, samples, vocals. I want anyone to be able to use it for any reason without my permission (I have my reasons).
Thomas Shera's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
202 views

Is it allowed to use a copyrighted music track on a video, but without integrating the audio into the video?

It's generally known that if you use a song to create a music video, you must have obtained a master use license to publish the track as a part of the music video, and also a synchronization license ...
Danya02's user avatar
  • 183
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What (combination of) licenses is popular for public/shared proprietary software (“Feel free to contribute, but only we can make commercial use”)?

A software product (a web service) is being developed. In essence, I want the software code to be hosted publicly on GitHub. Anyone should be able view, download, modify, use for personal use, and ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
393 views

Is an SDPX header legally equivalent to a license header?

I consider to use SDPX headers in stead of the full license headers in my code. However, I wonder whether this is actually legally equivalent. So, for context, this is the SDPX license list: https://...
H van Buuren's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
364 views

Do you have to unlock your devices for TV licence inspections?

In this answer Matthew mentions that Section 366 of the Communications Act 2003 grants the person executing the warrant the power to examine your equipment. Specifically it says give the person ...
user's user avatar
  • 1,876
3 votes
1 answer
169 views

When is a lawyer in violation of his license with regard to advice on the law?

I think it's probably obvious that a lawyer cannot tell his client where to stash the body his client just murdered. I think it's also probably pretty obvious (but less so) that a lawyer cannot tell ...
Mr. A's user avatar
  • 1,696