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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90 views

Is it legally fine to name a project or a library with a famous person name?

I wonder if there are any legal reasons for that to be not ok? There are many precedents, e.g. Sinatra, Kafka, Shakespeare, Django etc , so are there any limitations ? (living people etc)
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1answer
95 views

Is downloading or using software off bittorrent sites illegal?

If someone downloads software, that normally requires paying money to buy, from a P2P file sharing program is it illegal to download it? install it? use it? I'm not talking about normally freely ...
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62 views

Software acknowledgement exposure

I am developing a commercial consumer product and around 90 percent of the development is software related. Maybe even more to be completely honest. Some components of my software uses open source ...
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4answers
139 views

What license pertains to the commit history of a open source repository?

Asking since some people on Stack Overflow recommended this is a more appropriate area. If someone scrapes the commit history of a repository, does this data have a license? Or does the repository ...
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2answers
136 views

Can my phone provider legally upgrade my phone OS without my consent?

I wonder whether my phone provider can legally upgrade my phone's operating system without my consent. I am most interested in the United States, especially California and Massachusetts.
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2answers
144 views

Is it possible to distribute BSD (derived) software with a warranty?

(In the following, assume that "I" is not personal, but could be a corporation or group suitable in size and training to perform the tasks) I have received sample code carrying a license patterned ...
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5answers
224 views

Can you duplicate copyright for a copyright transfer?

Normally, when you do a copyright transfer, you're no longer the holder of the copyright, and thus cannot make a copyright claim (in other words, cannot assert copyright in the source code; but can ...
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1answer
102 views

Do I have a case for video game liability?

I brought black ops 3 a couple weeks ago and I have been playing it alot. Over the course of the games I have experience extreme frustration in constantly being killed and it has caused me to throw ...
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1answer
128 views

Is there a legal reason for why song identification apps can't [won't] identify some foreign music?

This question in particular concerns using SoundHound/Shazam/MusixMatch or other commercial song identification apps in the United States to attempt to identify Japanese songs, but this question is ...
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2answers
49 views

Limit the usage of my software product

Given I am selling my video software online is it legal not to sell it to certain customers who are supposed to use it for processing "adult" content? If they check a tickbox before purchase where ...
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1answer
49 views

medical software: liability vs indemnity in UK?

if one is doing a medical software for other company then one needs indemnity (client may have to pay to fix errors) or liability insurance (patient may be badly diagnosed)? or both?
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1answer
245 views

Selling source code to a company i work for

Over the past month i have been working on a program for my company to use. Some ground rules: They did not hire me to do so. I did it at home on my own computer and not during my work hours. This i ...
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2answers
162 views

Do I need to protect myself against liability (loss of data caused by my app)?

I originally asked this question in Open Source, but was redirected here :) I've written my first app, to process images (user photos) on the phone. It writes to the jpegs on the phone, and maybe I'...
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0answers
64 views

Where in the Protect America Act is it stated that the NSA can monitor all electronic communication?

There is a statement that I have heard floating around regarding the Protect America Act (2007) https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/s1927/text and the powers it grants to the NSA (National ...
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1answer
71 views

What legislation in the UK or EU requires online services and software companies to care about security of their products?

... And to what extent? E.g. what is the minimum an online service or software vendor are required to do to protect personal data? Let's not talk about PCI-DSS and payments here.
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PowerShell cmdlet licensing

I copied two functions from a cmdlet script distributed with Microsoft PowerShell v5, inside my script that should run on PowerShell v3. Also I slightly modified it. Do I invalid a license or can I ...
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1answer
237 views

What legal reasons prevent this software vendor from including encryption in their code?

I am working on a software project that requires the use of a setup program. The one my company is using is InnoSetup. In their downloads page (http://www.jrsoftware.org/isdl.php) towards the bottom, ...
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1answer
124 views

What types of questions can I legally ask in a technical interview without violating Title VII

The HR department at my company is concerned about what can and cannot be asked in a technical interview for a software position. We are being told that under Title VII we cannot do the following: ...
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0answers
480 views

As a Developer how should my contract be worded to protect against hacking

I am a web developer and have a contract for client based projects that has been improved over years and many projects. However after reading it this month I think that upgrading the section that ...
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1answer
106 views

Are Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics enshrined in the law of any (inter)national jurisdiction?

The Three Laws are: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such ...
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1answer
102 views

Are Tesla self-driving cars street-legal?

Here is a video of a Tesla car driving itself. In the jurisdictions in which it is operating, is it street legal? The Tesla Model S, when made, didn't drive itself (but had a suspicious number of ...
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1answer
224 views

Is it legal to offer preorders (of software) without an announced release date?

As the subject states, is it legal for a company to start offering preorders of an upcoming piece of software without an announced release date? Follow-up, if there is a release date, must they sell ...
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0answers
51 views

Could Software be a Derivative Work of RPG?

I've been developing an app to augment a Tabletop RPG (mainly for dice pool and roll and damage calculation according to the game's rules). Is the app considered to be a derivative work of the game (...
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2answers
637 views

Can Polaroid force me to remove my app from the store?

A few years ago, I create a simple app that allowed the user to create fake instant camera photos on their smartphone. A few month ago, I received an email from Polaroid stating that my app had to be ...
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1answer
62 views

How can any client-side rendered terms and conditions be considered binding for software licensing?

Basically, for many websites, as well as basically all software one installs, the sign-up or installation process requires you check a checkbox or click a button saying "I accept XXX terms and ...
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3answers
102 views

Open source software distribution between different legal entities

I work for a large organization with multiple international companies part of a larger parent company. At this moment I am working on a software application for Android. This application is being ...
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2answers
251 views

How should software licenses be displayed in multi-lingual applications?

I have been hired by a Canadian governmental agency to release a version of my application on their behalf. They have informed me that I must add the French language to my application to comply with ...
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0answers
42 views

Copyright law and distribution terms for public versions or derivatives

The present question is a special case of Can one take BSD licensed code and distribute it under GPL?. Looking recently at OpenBSD's LibreSSL, I've noticed that SSLeay that it traces its roots to (...
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2answers
847 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)...
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1answer
118 views

GPL v3 - Do I need to show passwords and secure keys in source

I'm developing in Python using Qt5 (PyQt5), which uses GPL v3 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.txt). I understand I need to make the source available, but if I create a separate file secret.py ...
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1answer
154 views

Copyright on User Form Design/Layout

I would like to create a VBA UserForm that has a very similar layout to one that is already shipped by Microsoft with Excel. The UserForm is pretty simple: one ListBox, two TextBoxes and around seven ...
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0answers
44 views

Can computer generated images, text, or other artifacts infringe on a copyright? [duplicate]

a few examples: An artificial intelligence draws a picture identical to hello kitty, without having ever seen hello kitty before. an algorithm for generating science fiction novels creates a work ...
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2answers
171 views

Is it illegal to create a mobile app which tracks a user for some purpose?

Can a mobile app track a user using GPS/location services running in the background, and do something when a user is found in a particular location? Assuming that the app clearly tells the user that ...
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1answer
564 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 ...
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1answer
279 views

Is it legal to sell Wikipedia data?

I can see it is legal to sell their "free" content, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Buying_Wikipedia_articles_in_print_or_another_form Can the same be argued for their non-content data? ...
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1answer
1k views

Can I legally create and use similar icons to ones exist in another software

I would like to create a similar icon to one used in another software (e.g. the "Share" icon on iOS, or the "Crop" tool in Photoshop). My icons are not going to be pixel-wise identical to the ...
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0answers
456 views

My app uses another website. Is it legal?

I would like to create an application/website which is automating some processes on another website A. So my application would basically use website A like a normal user would (there is no API ...
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2answers
96 views

Can employee be restricted using his or her BYOA or BYOL by employer?

Can employee be restricted to use his or her BYOA(Bring Your Own Application) or BYOL(Bring Your Own License) by employer? I recently buy 1 per seat license of diff application from scootersoftware. ...
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1answer
79 views

Is a general Indemnification rule related to IP enforcable in Germany?

I, living in Germany, am developing an app based on the API of a company that has to following rules in their Legal section: ... don't want to get sued. Therefore, you agree that we can use, copy, ...
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0answers
171 views

openssl and libsodium export restrictions

When going on the openssl it clearly states that openssl is subject to export restriction because it uses strong encryption. Looking at the libsodium page I cannot find anything like this. Why? Are ...
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2answers
136 views

Can I use illegally obtained code?

There are some EULA which prohibit disassembly or reverse-engineering of its executables Now Joe in Somalia gets a hold if this software, disassembles it, and publishes the algorithm online. Bob in ...
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1answer
154 views

Copyright on Developer's Website

I've been trying to find concrete information about developer's copyright. If a developer has its own website (in terms of business [card]) and the projects that are part of the portfolio were ...
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2answers
794 views

Open Source Software and Legal Responsibility for Software Content

I'm working with a few folks on updating some serious software for mechanism design. Engineered mechanisms have existed in the world now for a few hundred years or so. The science here isn't really ...
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1answer
1k views

Can an API be licensed?

My question is this simple - can an API (Application Programming Interface) be licensed? How does such licensing work? I mean, to have the source/binary licensed under one licence and the API under ...
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2answers
1k views

“Reverse Engineering” a plain text file format

If a file output from a non-open source program is stored in plain text. What legal implications are there for building a parser to read that file into my program? Is there any legal distinction ...
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1answer
191 views

Advantage in being first to copyleft a new algorithm?

Say I have created a new (DSP) algorithm. Will I have some advantage if I open source the algorithm under copyleft licence (GPL etc.)? From what I know about licensing this should lock people out from ...
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0answers
156 views

Is is legal to include a bot software into an installation by explaining to the user?

I made a bot program which only visits some websites automatically (not a virus, worm, trojan and etc) and I'm planning to install it as an additional program near main program. I know it is illegal ...
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2answers
260 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 ...
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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 ...

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