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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2
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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 ...
2
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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
187 views

CC Share-Alike for Open Source Software

I've been developing a mobile app to help players and GM in a RPG titled Anima Prime. The game itself is licensed in Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. I'm no native speaker of English so ...
3
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2answers
963 views

US Anti-trust law, price fixing and app stores

This question clarifies that apple doesn't have a large enough share of the smartphone market to be considered a monopoly. The argument being that because they are not a monopoly they can bundle their ...
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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 ...
4
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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.
3
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2answers
641 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 ...
4
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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 ...
3
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2answers
253 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 ...
4
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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 (...
3
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3answers
103 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 ...
8
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1answer
303 views

Is “expiring” business software considered sabotage?

I developed a software system for my employer. Because this was outside my job description the owner agreed to pay me monthly to maintain the system. Because I knew the owner had a tendency not to ...
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1answer
1k views

Is WINE illegal?

Is WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator) illegal? Given that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held in Oracle v. Google that APIs are copyrightable, is WINE (which reproduces the Windows ...
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
155 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 ...
2
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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 ...
14
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6answers
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
212 views

What's the validity of different versions of Terms of Service (Software, Web)

Many people sit around and nitpick about wording that's added or subtracted. They have many terms for this but its essentially everything they get you to agree before they allow you to use a web ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Is it even possible to use the Google Maps API without violating their terms of use?

I went to the Google Maps API terms of use page and scrolled down and found section at 10.5f, which read: No incorporating Google software into other software. You will not incorporate any ...
5
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1answer
484 views

Forming an LLC in Idaho: Is programming professional?

I'm forming an LLC in Idaho for a software development / consulting business. I'm planning to go directly through the Secretary of State. I see two different forms: A "Certificate of Organization ...
3
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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 ...
4
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1answer
102 views

What is the meaning of “trade secret” when the secret is being publicly distributed?

Reviewing some software licenses I found statements like this: The software code shall be treated as trade secrets and confidential information. But the source code can be freely downloaded from ...
3
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2answers
294 views

Is translating a computer program from language A to B, the same as a normal translation?

I understand that if I translate a book from English to French, my French translation is a derivative work. But, if I translate something such as Ruby on Rails from Ruby to Java is it a derivative ...
4
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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 ...
5
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1answer
78 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)....
7
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1answer
281 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? ...
3
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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 ...
6
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4answers
641 views

Will software ever enter the public domain?

Works enter the public domain after ... years from publication. But most software these days is not sold but "licensed" (per EULA). So the recipient never received said "software", he's just using ...
2
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0answers
458 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 ...
2
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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. ...
11
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2answers
848 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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2answers
17k 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 ...
5
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1answer
465 views

Can online gambling sites bias their games?

There's biases in gambling, such as the 0 on a roulette table, but that is arguably obvious to the player. Is it legal for online casinos to knowingly or unknowingly bias their games at a software ...
6
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2answers
5k 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, ...
3
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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, ...
4
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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 ...
3
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1answer
161 views

Consumer rights (UK) - OEM operating system purchased on the basis on invalid requirements

Let's say I purchase an Operating System (let's call it, Microsoft Windows 10 Home Edition) from an online retailer. It turns out this is an OEM license, so perhaps not entirely as legitimate as it ...
6
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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 ...
3
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1answer
155 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 ...
4
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2answers
292 views

Website Partnership contract between two countries

I'm wondering what the general laws binding international partnership contracts are? For example, if the two people involved resided in different Countries what sort of legal issues would that arise? ...
5
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2answers
799 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 ...
4
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
9
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2answers
232 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 ...
3
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3answers
629 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,...
2
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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 ...
2
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2answers
261 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 ...
8
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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 ...
6
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1answer
192 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 ...
15
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2answers
3k 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 ...

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