Questions tagged [software]

For questions involving programming underlying computers and machines. Consider using the [open-source-software] tag if the question is about open source software or licensing.

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6
votes
3answers
918 views

Can the Developer of a Program be penalized if it is used illegally?

If a developer writes a program, for example a password cracker or a code decipher, and it is used illegally, will the developer or the user get punished? A password cracker could be used, for example,...
4
votes
1answer
626 views

Is it legal to post a photograph that I captured of a stranger in the street?

I captured a photograph in the street. The photograph includes people who I don't know. There is nothing in the photograph that I believe can offend anybody (e.g. no nude or illegal act). I just ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Must the reason for a permanent ban for a paid online game be provided?

Suppose that a fully automated anti-cheat system (claimed by a company to be 99.99% accurate) wrongfully and permanently banned a player from a game that requires a one-time fee to begin playing, ...
10
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2answers
317 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
309 views

Am I legally responsible for being a developer of a code, if my customer uses it illegally?

I am from an Europe country, I work online and get orders on freelancer websites. Few months ago, I had a customer hiring me to do some Bitcoin-related coding, I'm one of their developers for 6-7 ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Do I need permission to reimplement application programming interface calls/classes?

Suppose MS Excel has an API so that other programs can communicate with it. Suppose I'm the developer of OpenOffice Calc, and I want other programs to be able to communicate with my program in like ...
0
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it legal to sell zero-day exploits?

Can someone who discovered a zero-day exploit in a program sell the information, and does the applicable jurisdiction depend on his location, the buyer location, the location of the developed of the ...
11
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2answers
860 views

Who owns the code when my employer wants something similar to my existing open source project?

I have a similar situation to this question. My employer hired me knowing that I work on some open source projects, but for a long time, showed no interest in my open source projects. Now they want ...
11
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2answers
932 views

At what point can a computer-generated file infringe copyright?

In general it is illegal to download a copyrighted file without paying the copyright owner. But is having metadata (hash) of the copyrighted material legal? What if I've run a program (like Mathgen)...
4
votes
2answers
77k views

Is Showbox legal to use in the UK?

The Android app "Showbox" allows users to stream the latest movies (still in the cinema) to their device for watching (but not keeping). Is this app legal to use in the UK? EDIT: After researching ...
3
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1answer
656 views

User consent required under GDPR

I am having an Android app which uses certain Analytics services such as Google Analytics, Firebase etc. These services collect certain information from the user. For this reason I have drafted a ...
1
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1answer
170 views

Reverse-Engineering an Application without EULA

The place where I work have recently installed a tool on our computer systems. However there are a few things that I don't quite like about the tool and would like to improve them. However I am ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Work for hire as a contractor without payment, can you withhold IP?

Context: Canadian law; contract work; software IP If a contractor signs a work for hire agreement at the outset of a project and agrees that all work done for a company is the company's IP, can the ...
1
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2answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Opt Out Consent under GDPR

I am having an Android App which uses certain service such as Analytics, Ad Networks. I am taking the consent from the user at when the app starts, i.e. before collecting any info. But there are ...
29
votes
4answers
5k views

If mathematical equations are not patentable, why are algorithms patentable?

I'm new to the domain of understanding the law behind patenting, and I want to start a company that uses machine learning algorithms. Unfortunately, almost every concept is patented by the top ...
12
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2answers
766 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
10k views

Is it legal for Microsoft to install software without user approval?

On several occasions, Microsoft had misled their users to forcefully install updates or unwanted programs (like Windows 10 on Windows 7 here, here, here, and here), it also has forcefully installed ...
15
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
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5answers
4k views

Could a programmer use the code that they made for another company?

If someone made a piece of software for another company but never gave away the intellectual property rights or signed anything, could they use that code in other similar software? Could they sell it?...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Does my employer own code I write at home using the Visual Studio license from work?

Simple question, maybe not an easy answer: my employer gave me an MSDN subscription linked to my home hotmail account. Can I download Visual Studio and write code at home with this license? I would ...
2
votes
3answers
570 views

How are MMOs with real money economies allowed to operate?

A lot of Massively Multiplayer Online games include a form of "premium" in-game economy that may be purchased with real money (cash) by the player, usually for the purposes of faster progression in ...
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Who is responsible for the actions of an AI (artificial intelligence) agent?

say i have a software that has AI(artificial intelligence) incorporated into it locally, and the user gives the software some permissions. if the software has caused some problems (developed a hack to ...
5
votes
1answer
90 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)....
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the GDPR apply to software developed by one company and used by another?

Question I work for a bespoke software development company and I've been doing a lot of reading about the GDPR before it comes into force next year. A lot of it makes sense, however I'm really ...
4
votes
1answer
497 views

Is creating a informatical robot for poker or games illegal?

I am talking here about informatical robots that will make some operations without any human interaction. You can find many stories about poker robots that play without anyone behind the computer on ...
3
votes
3answers
219 views

Can one create a computer program that enhances the usability of third party websites?

Can someone create such a program that enhances third party services? A few examples would be: - A program that embeds a website within itself and modifies its interface. - A program that makes ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

If I obfuscate someone else's source code, can I avoid copyright infringement?

I know the answer is probably no, but I'm confused about something. The underlying algorithm is never copyrightable. So as long as you "learn from the code" someone else has wrote, and re-implement it,...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Is it legal to upload short, publicly available, source files on Stack Exchange to ask about them?

I once asked a question on tex.SE about a (LaTeX) title page template that my university provides for master's theses. Since the people over at tex.SE require Minimal Working Examples, I uploaded a ...
1
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3answers
116 views

Is offline-only processing a “‘processing” as understood by GDPR?

GDPR, article 4, point (1) states: ‘processing’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

What exactly are the “Java APIs” that were under debate in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc.?

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., the debate was over Google's use of 37 "Java APIs" in Android, and whether or not it was fair use. However, I've never found a clear description of the nature ...
3
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2answers
267 views

Software Packaging laws

When Microsoft packaged Internet Explorer with Windows, they were sued for antitrust violations. However, today every operating system has its own built-in browser, including ones by the companies ...
3
votes
2answers
388 views

Is it legal for manufacturers to lock bootloaders on Android phones?

Some backgroud : A bootloader is a very low level piece of software that runs first and loads an operating system of some other tool. On a lot of new Android devices the bootloader is "locked", that ...
2
votes
0answers
138 views

Carelessly used Visual Studio Preview to develop an app that I'd like to release; what are my options?

A game. It started as an academic project, though I've always intended to release it (for free) at some point. I checked the licence terms of Visual Studio 2017 Community. Happy, happy, joy joy: ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Who are the copyright holders of softwares that students develop during their studies?

The outputs of a software developed from scratch by a student during his/her studies are used in writing his/her thesis. Can the student's supervisor or the University claim to be a copyright holder ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

How Google Play Policy applies to different Developers

I have a quiz game that was rejected from the Play Store on claims that it violates the Gambling policy because it currently allows users to win money for playing quizzes. On appealing, I asked the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Do individual programmers expose themselves to liability risks when they make their programs available to the public?

There are numerous useful apps, software programs, web applications, browser plug-ins, etc., that have been produced by individual programmers. Are these programmers exposing themselves to personal ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

Can a business owner be liable if they provide their service for free?

If a business provides a free online service which involves data storage, is the owner liable if they lose a user's saved data given that they provide the service for free? The business has a ...
1
vote
3answers
217 views

Is it legal to publish a game that already exists but it was 100% developed by me

I am a lover of classic games and I've developed some classical games such as: Connect 4 Monopoly Trivial Battleship My main question is what will happen if I publish any of these applications in ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

What can individual programmers do to limit their liability risks from programs that they make available to the public?

This questions stems from my earlier question, Do individual programmers expose themselves to liability risks when they make their programs available to the public?. From the answers to the above ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Do licence terms of Microsoft Visual Studio Community allow me to distribute applications developped with it?

From the licence terms ofMicrosoft Visual Studio Community: Individual License. If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Recreating images from video games in a stats app

I am making a Discord bot that tracks in game stats for many popular video games and I'm having trouble discerning whether it's ok or not to display these stats in a format that replicates the in game ...
1
vote
2answers
628 views

How to recreate functionality without violating software code copyright laws?

What would happen if I need to recreate code for a software function I did previously? The catch is that even when I'm writing it from scratch I cannot make it very different from how it was where I ...
0
votes
1answer
384 views

Vague clause in employment contract

I work in a full time permanent role but have recently started working in another part time (evenings/weekends) role as a contractor. Both are in the same field (software development) and both ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

What are the “default rights” for the source code on the Internet without license shown?

Suppose that one finds programming code from a web-page without any license. How a reader of the web page can use it? Can she copy it to own computer, compile it, run it, do some statistical analysis ...
0
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
183 views

We think a former employee stole our code and started his own company with it. What can we do? [closed]

What can we do? With respect to this topic, I found this anecdote. But I don't work for Facebook, and we have nowhere near the clout or the user base they do. I'm not 100% sure why Facebook was ...
-1
votes
2answers
193 views

What are the rights of the software owners if their software is used to make money?

Let's assume that I have an iPhone and I tell how to use it (e.g. how an app is downloaded, how a photo is taken), I mention about its functions, features (e.g. how a contact is created, how Wi-Fi is ...