All Questions

7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a contract and what is required for them to be valid?

What is a contract? What elements are required for validity?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

In the US, when is fair use a defense to copyright infringement?

What is fair use in the US? When would it be a successful defense to copyright infringement?
39
votes
4answers
13k views

What are the legal repercussions of taking a stranger's picture in public?

With Snapchat and Instagram it is all too easy to abuse picture taking and really inexpensive to snap a photo of an unknowing stranger. If you are in public and will only post pictures online without ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

Is this copyright infringement? Is it fair use? What if I don't make any money off it?

If someone were hypothetically working on a project that required them to incorporate copies of a copyrighted work (music, movies, books, etc.), how would they know if it would be considered fair use? ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is considered “public” in the context of taking videos or audio recordings?

According to the answers in this question it's legal to photograph someone in public without their consent. I'm assuming the answers still hold true for video or audio recording (such as what can be ...
9
votes
1answer
440 views

How do laws affect photography of non-humans in public when people may be in the frame?

Given that this is taking place in a public area where one would not have an expectation of privacy, what legal restrictions exist on photography of people where they are not the subject of the ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Can I sue an appraiser for assigning a low value to my property?

Due to the low value assigned to my home by an appraiser, I didn't get a loan and it did cost money. However, when I went to another bank, two new appraisers gave a higher value and I was able to ...
4
votes
1answer
502 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
141k views

Do you need a driver's license to travel in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the law that governs motor vehicles is the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. But according to the Constitution; Freedom of movement under United States law is governed ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Can a US citizen be required to provide the authentication key for encrypted data on a confiscated computer?

I'm asking this for the sake of a story I was considering writing. Assume that someone has a computer, and within that computer he has some encrypted data. He is accused of a crime and the police ...
3
votes
3answers
481 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,...
5
votes
1answer
772 views

Can a store sell merchandise I've left in the store?

If I purchase merchandise in a physical store, and then (accidentally or not) leave the merchandise at the store after I've paid for it, is the store allowed to resell that merchandise to another ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is it legal to scrape a website and create my own database?

I'm working on a website that needs a database which is available publically on another site (let's just says it is IMDB). It'd be great if I could create my database by scraping IMDB. It'll be a one-...
71
votes
4answers
12k views

How can you tell if you have to follow a police officer's instructions?

If a police officer gives me an order, how can I tell whether or not I'm legally obligated to follow that order? If I ask the officer, is he/she required by law to answer truthfully? If the police ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any remedies for abusive or insulting behavior by agents executing a search warrant?

Suppose I am a particular person who maintains a clean and orderly residence. I have a sign inside my front door asking visitors to put booties over their shoes before entry. Now some LEOs show up ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I defend myself from excessive police force?

Hypothetical situation: Say the police are chasing me. I get tackled after which I go limp and stop resisting. Subsequently the officer starts throwing elbows to my face. I'm not sure why he's ...
12
votes
4answers
577 views

What is the legal mechanism by which the GDPR might apply to a business with no presence in the EU?

My family has a small side business selling some things through the internet. As far as I know, we aren't likely to have any customers who are EU citizens, but it's certainly not outside the realm of ...
13
votes
2answers
550 views

How exactly does civil asset forfeiture work in the United States?

Civil asset forfeiture is a concept that frequently crops up in the news, e.g. the recent Washington Post article "Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut". ...
1
vote
1answer
369 views

Would what happened in South Park (human centipede) be legal?

There's an episode of South Park where buried in the terms and agreement of iTunes, you agreed that Apple could forcibly make you into a human centipede. See: In the real world could this happen? ...
47
votes
9answers
19k views

How is it possible for millions to use pirated software at home and never get arrested?

It's not like talking about using weeds that you tell your friends about but you don't go in public shouting about it. Instead people go to online forums sometimes posting with their real names- ...
32
votes
5answers
14k views

Am I allowed to kill a person threatening me? CA, USA

You are riding a public transit train and out of nowhere a man with blue jeans takes out a P99 semiautomatic pistol and takes the passengers hostage. Luckily you have a knife on you. But you don't ...
16
votes
1answer
24k views

When can an NDA be legally broken?

This question is purely theoretical, I promise. Let's say a person signed a Non-Disclosure agreement under certain terms, and then, somehow, they witnessed an illegal act but were forbidden to report ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online when it is illegal?

If it is illegal to download videos and audios from youtube due to copyright reasons, why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online? For example http://youtube-mp3.org/, one ...
8
votes
2answers
710 views

How to properly maintain website footer copyright notice?

There are often 3 copyright notice formats one might come across in the footer of website: Copyright © [Year the site or page was published]-[Year always kept current] Copyright © [Year this ...
7
votes
2answers
407 views

How can I legally protect my website from users who upload copyrighted material?

I have a small website that hosts content in the form of text from registered users. The content can be described more specifically as short novels, essays and other personal work. How do I protect ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
990 views

Guidelines to claim right to use physical force as self defense?

I was wondering what constitutes a provocation to which it is justifiable to use force as self defense. For example, if someone came a slapped you on the face but did not proceed hitting you (at which ...
5
votes
2answers
16k views

Getting the neighbor kids off my lawn?

We've had 4 sets of neighbors kids grow up around us with no issue. Nice kids, nice parents, etc. The latest family has two young boys who like to camp out on my lawn and in my garden. I'm aware of ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Is OCRed text automatically copyright?

If someone puts out an OCR of a scan of a Public Domain work, is that OCR under copyright? On one hand, one may consider that "creative work", on the other hand, the "creative work" (the resultant ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

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). ...
1
vote
2answers
422 views

How different does something have to be so it doesn't infringe on a copyright?

I'm an engineer and I wanted to make a toy for my 3 year old daughter for Christmas. She loves Little Einsteins but since that was 12 years ago, they don't really make many of the toys anymore. Any ...
33
votes
1answer
5k views

USA: Is “I am not a lawyer” disclaimer generally necessary?

Is it legally necessary to disclaim "I am not a lawyer" when engaging in casual conversation, writing Internet posts, etc. to avoid civil or criminal liability for one's comments? Specifically, in ...
21
votes
5answers
7k views

Can I booby-trap my property against police?

Inspired by this question: Suppose I'm paranoid (perhaps justifiably) that law enforcemen might conduct a warranted raid of my property. So I setup booby-traps that are designed to either: A. ...
20
votes
3answers
66k views

Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's mail?

Say I move into an apartment. And over the next months and years, I keep receiving mail for the previous tenant, whom I do not know. This is understandably annoying. The easiest and most convenient ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

If other party notified me that phone conversation is being recorded, do I need to tell them if I am also recording it?

When I call, for example, AT&T or any other company, then before they pick up the phone they sometimes give me a notice that the phone conversation could be recorded for training or other purposes....
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Can someone more wealthy than me bury me in legal fees?

USA Federal Law - I have a company worth about $6m. I got on the bad side of a person with a company worth well over $750m (with attorneys on staff). The CEO threatened to bury me in an endless sea ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you be accused of hotlinking/copyright violation if you use an iframe?

Can you be accused of hotlinking or copyright infringement if you use an iframe (web element) of another website? Can you be sued for this if the website doesn't prevent iframe using and doesn't ...
13
votes
2answers
87k views

UK: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting or a phone call? Is it possible to use such recording in court?

In the United Kingdom: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting (in an office) or a phone call while being a participant? Is it possible to use such recording as an evidence in court or ...
9
votes
5answers
759 views

Does a boilerplate “This email is private” message have any legal force?

I get quite a few email messages with text like: IMPORTANT WARNING: This email (and any attachments) is only intended for the use of the person or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

Does the US Fifth Amendment only apply to criminal trials? Do any laws protect a person in civil court when testimony would implicate them in a crime?

Suppose someone is accused of burglary. This person is asked to appear in civil court regarding an unrelated event that occurred at the same time as the burglary but in a different location. If the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a randomly-generated book a violation of copyright?

Let's say I create a computer program that randomly chooses words and records them. Now, this generator spits out an exact word-for-word copy of a non-public-domain book. If I publish this (without ...
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Where can I find a comprehensive document of computer laws?

I am interested in computers and want to pursue this interest further by getting my education in programming and security. I've only just started so I'm scared that I might break some law that was not ...
5
votes
3answers
344 views

Is it possible for a publicly accessible, personal blog to make use of the personal use exception of the GDPR?

The GDPR Article 2 defines the material scope the regulation. Article 2 (2)c states that this regulation does not apply to the processing of personal data: by a natural person in the course of a ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

According to GDPR, do I need a contract for processing on behalf with my e-mail provider?

It seems already sufficiently established that a contract for processing on behalf according to GDPR Art. 28 is necessary with one's web hoster. Now, I am wondering whether the same is true for the e-...
11
votes
2answers
819 views

What exactly are an officer's requirements in order to demand ID in the US (New York)?

I watched a YouTube video recently which depicted the following situation, and I'd like to learn more about what peoples' rights are and what an officer's obligations are in a situation like this: A ...
9
votes
2answers
91k views

To what extent is suicide legal in the U.S. and in individual states?

At one point, legal scholars referred to suicide as a form of self-murder (for example, see Coke or Hale). Are those who take their own lives guilty of some crime, or have some forms of the act been ...
8
votes
1answer
366 views

Can a person be prosecuted for unknowingly possessing illegal computer files?

Today there was a news article that claims researchers have found illegal files embedded in the Bitcoin blockchain. This is a large database-type file that contains a list of all the Bitcoin ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

In California, if a baseball lands in my yard, is it legally mine?

Say some neighborhood kid was playing baseball and accidentally hit the ball into my yard. Theoretically, if I own the house or my lease permits, I have the right to control access to my yard and, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it necessary to state in a contract that if one part is found unenforceable, the rest still is?

I've seen in some contracts clauses stating something like If a term or condition is found to be unenforceable, the rest of the contract still remains in affect. Is this necessary? Unless ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Are NDA's that include illegal activity legally binding?

With the recent outpouring of sexual assault allegations, I've been hearing the phrase "Non-disclosure agreement," thrown around quite frequently. Suppose a woman is sexually assaulted at work, and ...

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