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Questions tagged [licensing]

For questions about permission and terms to use intellectual property.

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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
45 votes
2 answers
18k views

Is it illegal to backup your hard drive if you have copyrighted software on it?

Is it illegal if you create a backup of an HDD that has copyrighted software installed on it? This could be anything from legally purchased games and or expensive popular graphics/video editing ...
LateralTerminal's user avatar
38 votes
4 answers
13k views

Is it legal to copy a software license text from other companies to write my own?

I am writing a software license myself before I hire a lawyer. Is it legal to copy a software license text from other companies to write my own? I could not find anyone talking about the copyright of ...
ultrafrog's user avatar
  • 489
36 votes
2 answers
5k views

Legality of creating a SE replica using SE's content

Due to the recent controversy(s) regarding StackExchange, a couple other users and I were discussing the legality of creating a copy of SE and scraping the content. If we did not copy SE's actual ...
user7886229's user avatar
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
31 votes
3 answers
9k views

Can an open source licence be revoked if it violates employer's IP?

Suppose a developer's contract says that all intellectual property (IP) rights to her code belong to her UK employer. While employed, she develops a library and open-sources it under the Apache 2.0 ...
schrödingcöder's user avatar
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
  • 6,389
29 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why do some licenses have a clause stating that one can't violate the law?

Example of such a clause in the Creative MLOpen RAIL-M dated August 22, 2022 used by runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5: You agree not to use the Model or Derivatives of the Model: In any way that ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
28 votes
8 answers
12k views

Do I really have to Open Source my project?

I'm currently working on a software which uses another software under the GPL version 3 license: https://github.com/ViaVersion/ViaVersion/blob/dev/LICENSE Now someone just came to me and said I have ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 289
26 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is there any difference in meaning between the Boost and MIT software licenses?

MIT The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and ...
OMGtechy's user avatar
  • 505
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
21 votes
5 answers
10k views

How does licensing software not imply ownership? Don't I own a Windows operating system once I pay for it?

Background I've been through the Windows 8.1 EULA and the EULA for computer manufacturers. I've also seen this question where an answer says that Windows is sold as a software service. The EULA states ...
Nav's user avatar
  • 381
20 votes
4 answers
8k views

Can freelancers publish code in GitHub and claim it to be theirs?

I am curious to know the legal process of a collaborated effort for a code at a small startup. Say I am the technical head of a startup, and I have about 90% of the code/commits. The other 10% is by ...
harveyslash's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does CC BY-SA permit denial of attribution if the requested pseudonym is political?

According to CC-BY-SA 4.0, § 3(a)(1), "Attribution. If You Share the Licensed Material (including in modified form), You must: [...] retain the following if it is supplied by the Licensor with ...
Evan Carroll's user avatar
  • 2,177
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

If I have posted my own "homebrew" content on RPG.SE, and plan to publish it (after revising based on feedback), what credits am I required to give?

I have posted numerous homebrew features on Role-playing Games Stack Exchange, and I have used advice gotten from that site to balance most of them. If, one day, I publish the subclass, would I be ...
user avatar
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
  • 5,068
18 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is Kali Linux's "Undercover" mode legal?

Kali Linux, a Linux distribution for ethical hackers and penetration testers, has an "Undercover" mode that makes its UI look like Windows 10. It copies the desktop background, Windows logo ...
Someone's user avatar
  • 17k
18 votes
2 answers
9k views

Can I bundle MIT licensed components in a Apache 2.0 licensed project?

I am creating a project that I would like to open source and license under the Apache 2.0 License. The project will come with a bundled version of an open source component which is licensed under the ...
Wojtek's user avatar
  • 383
17 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is it legal to write a software license if I'm not a licensed attorney?

I was hoping to create my own open-source license since none of the existing ones seem to work for what I want. However, someone mentioned to me that in the USA it's illegal to practice law without a ...
Ky -'s user avatar
  • 479
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

As a non-US person, what license may I have to use public materials from agencies of US government?

I want to reuse a gif published in this website of this US government agency. I don't see any copyright statement anywhere, except a link to Freedom of Information Act. In my vague understanding of ...
Ooker's user avatar
  • 487
16 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it legal to backdate monthly software license fees if you reactivate a license?

I live in the UK and use software from a US-based company. I currently pay a software licence fee of $150 every six months. This covers access to support and access to monthly software updates, new ...
Homercles's user avatar
  • 179
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

How long does a GPL licencee have to respond to a source code request before it becomes a GPL violation?

I have requested source code for a product that contains software licensed under GPL 2. The product includes a written offer to provide source code if you send a written request by email. The offer is ...
Богдан Туренко's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
18k views

Windows 10 Eula Privacy Rights

Many are claiming that Windows 10's data collection is much more invasive than previous Microsoft products, even claiming that Windows 10 ships with a keylogger and reports every keystroke back to ...
Woodrow Barlow's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
4k views

Advantages of a law license other than the ability to practice law

The late Professor Charlotte Striebel was a lawyer if that term means one who is licensed to practice law, but not a lawyer if that term means one who does practice law. She worked for decades as a ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I modify the YouTube licenses in order to make a YouTube video about SO Content?

I would like to create a YouTube video about content from StackOverflow. The licenses of SO do not seem to be compatible with the two licenses offered by YouTube as described in an answer here. The ...
Fee's user avatar
  • 263
14 votes
1 answer
741 views

Sputnik-era NSF-funded books: is this a license?

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, which also had the unintended side effect of launching frantic attempts in the US to reform math and science education. A common pattern in these efforts ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
380 views

Is Stack Exchange allowed to unilaterally change previously published content license?

The original thread can be found here: Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow are moving to CC BY-SA 4.0 As far as I understand, Stack Exchange can move on to CC BY-SA 4.0 for content published in the ...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the circumstances that require disclosure of an old legal name, when the name change case has been sealed?

I've previously had my name changed in a district court in the state of Utah. The case was filed as an adult name change and the case itself was order sealed by the judge who heard it. All of my ...
ZeTaylor's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

is there (yet) a standard, simple license header that prohibits machine learning?

Is there an SPDX or other widely accepted license header syntax/format that prohibits machine learning? My company's Github license statement includes: "Licensee is not granted the right to, and ...
Jeff Brower's user avatar
13 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
  • 374
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would a user of the Stack Exchange API be liable for re-publishing copyright infringing data?

Data obtained from the Stack Exchange API is cc-wiki licensed. This license explicitly encourages the user of the API to copy, redistribute, remix and transform the data obtained from the API for any ...
kranzky's user avatar
  • 223
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
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
1 answer
920 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
  • 318
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
11 votes
2 answers
761 views

Relicensing software under GPLv2+ without all contributors

I have software licensed under GPLv2, which I would like to relicense under GPLv2+. Unfortunately, I an unable to contact some of the contributors. Can I proceed, or am I stuck?
dsolimano's user avatar
  • 922
11 votes
1 answer
7k views

How should multiple copyright holders be credited using the MIT license?

Let's say three coders write a program and want to release it under the MIT license. How should the copyright notice look like? I have something like this in mind: Copyright (c) 2017 Alice, Bob, ...
pfo's user avatar
  • 111
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
2 answers
3k views

Creating an application to streamline Dungeons and Dragons

I've been working on an application that would streamline the average Dungeons and Dragons 5e tabletop experience, and it only recently occurred to me that doing so may infringe on copyrights. ...
Sam Pauley's user avatar
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
2 answers
4k views

(Your unlawful act) "will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law." For real?

Several software products make statements about possible prosecution, for example Microsoft Office: Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in ...
miroxlav's user avatar
  • 263
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
  • 27.6k
10 votes
2 answers
483 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
3k views

Does MIT license oblige me to publish its code in open sources

I found several libraries on GitHub that I plan to use for a commercial application. They are all licensed under MIT or Apache 2.0. Having studied them, I realized that I can use them for free in ...
Sunbey13's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

Are Windows activation tools illegal?

There are several of such tools that activate Windows without buying a license. Such tools works by emulating a KMS (key management service) server that is used to activate Windows in enterprise ...
user avatar
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
  • 6,920
9 votes
1 answer
204 views

Is there a copyright on a license agreement

I need a license agreement for a product. Many similar products have their license agreement available online. I would like to take one of the better fitting ones and adapt it to my needs (adapt ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 93
9 votes
3 answers
457 views

Why were books never published with a EULA?

Software companies write EULA to force users to relinquish their rights (such as first sale, decompiling/reverse engineering) before being allowed to use the software. Why are books never published ...
gdfgdfg's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
2 answers
6k views

What stops stolen software from offering a valid license?

A common pattern in software distribution is to have an installer program that pops up and offers the user a license to the software, and prompts the user to accept it. This End User License Agreement ...
interfect's user avatar
  • 3,501
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Must public content/data created by a US city have an open license?

I read on https://resources.data.gov/open-licenses/ that works created by U.S. Government employees within the scope of their employment default to the public domain: The Federal Open Data Policy ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar

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