Skip to main content
20 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to fix an iPhone with a non original battery in California?

To answer the question in the headline, yes, it is legal to install a non-original battery in an iPhone. In a 2016 Supreme Court case regarding another consumer electronics product (in that case, ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 2,170
12 votes

Is it legal to fix an iPhone with a non original battery in California?

What Apple did is an unfortunately common practice that in most cases is indeed illegal. In recent years, with the rise in support for "right to repair" movements, the FTC has been more ...
bta's user avatar
  • 1,334
8 votes

Is there a Legal Requirement for Computer Companies to Include an Operating System when Selling a PC?

No AFAIK there is no such legal requirement. Why this company told you there was I can’t speculate. But I will. There may be under contract with MicroSoft to put their OS on every box they sell - that ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
5 votes
Accepted

Phone Recording and phone routing - USA

The courts of Washington will not apply the law of Tennessee in an action somehow involving something about Tennessee, they will apply the laws of Washington. If neither end of the conversation is in ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
4 votes
Accepted

What is the legal status of data (intentionally deleted or not) on a second-hand computer?

Data, as it happens in law, can also be owned. That's why we have a discipline called "Intellectual Property". It is a "thing" - like other properties like cars, houses etc., someone owns it. Now, ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 1,723
3 votes

Does replacing the operating system on my laptop void my warranty?

It depends on the warranty itself. Here is one warranty, which only protects against manufacturing defects and excludes any software issues (whether pre-installed or user-installed). I'm a little ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
3 votes

Legal implications of unsecure bluetooth device

It is legal for a manufacturer to sell a device which is capable of being misused. For example, a wifi-capable router can be sold even if it is "open" by default. A Bluetooth device has a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
3 votes

Do companies have a legal right to force you to use their server after you have purchased their hardware?

You can replace the software on the device The supplier does not have to help you to do so You are correct that because you own the device, you can do what you like with it. That means you can install ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
3 votes

Is it forbidden to sell a device that mimicks a third party's device USB descriptor?

I suspect contract law will affect the ability to do this. Terms like "USB" and the associated logos etc are intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights, etc) owned by the USB Consortium. If you ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to replace something's firmware?

It's yours - do what you like with it Assuming that you are the legal owner of the device then you are entitled to do whatever you like with it: smash it with a sledgehammer, brush your teeth with it,...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
2 votes
Accepted

How to legally publish a NES/Famicom ROM wrapped in an emulator app for another platform?

Emulators are legal. They've been legal since courts ruled in favor of Bleem!, a commercial PlayStation emulator, in the 90s (though the company that made it still went out of business thanks to the ...
JAB's user avatar
  • 156
2 votes

How to patent a technology as public domain?

Publish it Once an invention is in the public sphere it is ineligible to be patented.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
2 votes

Is it possible to disallow a usage of a device in a certain way?

At least under US law, if you purchase an object (and assuming there are no independent statutory restrictions on its use), you can usually do with you want with it. However, it is illegal to ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
2 votes
Accepted

In the US, is it legal to flash your own code onto a physical device to unlock new features?

Yes, it's legal In the US (and since 2020 australia), there is no patent in a tangible product once that product has been sold. This is called the exhaustion of rights or first-sale doctrine. Once it'...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
2 votes

Firmware code written under GPLv3 was modified. What should be published?

The GPLv3 does not require source code to be published. It is just whoever receives a copy of the binary (in whatever form) who needs to be also provided with the sources. (Quite often this will be ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes
Accepted

Firmware code written under GPLv3 was modified. What should be published?

All of the code must be published and licensed under GPLv3 GPLv3 is a strong copyleft licence that requires all modifications to also be GPLv3. QED. If you didn’t use any original code, that is, you ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
1 vote

Does replacing the operating system on my laptop void my warranty?

Consumer Guarantees australia Irrespective of the existence of any warranty, there is a statutory guarantee that goods sold to a consumer are, among other things, of acceptable quality and durability. ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
1 vote

Do companies have a legal right to force you to use their server after you have purchased their hardware?

You have some consumer rights, but it is not obvious whether S has done anything impermissible. They haven't shut down the server yet. Locking down the app might be in breach of your contract with ...
alexg's user avatar
  • 6,765
1 vote

Phone Recording and phone routing - USA

It depends on what 2-party consent actually means in the state where you want to challenge the legality of the call. In the state of WA, simply continuing the conversation, after being notified that ...
grovkin's user avatar
  • 2,578
1 vote

Is it forbidden to sell a device that mimicks a third party's device USB descriptor?

Laws rarely address specific technologies, and I would be highly surprised if there is even one law that covers USB, let alone a minor detail such as VIDs. However, there are generic laws intended to ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 5,677
1 vote

Selling second hand and copyright

That has been explained in another question: Copyright applies if you copy and doesn’t apply if you don’t copy. If you don’t copy you can do what you like. If you copy it must be allowed by law, or ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.2k
1 vote

License notices when shipping hardware and firmware

Can the copyright notice information be made available on a special section of the products' website? I don't think this is an acceptable way to give copyright notices. In general, a customer ...
airfishey's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote

Would the Oracle v. Google lawsuit imply that any API can be re-implemented, including hardware CPU ISAs?

"I understood that the lawsuit implies that APIs are not copyrightable." Completely, absolutely, one hundred percent wrong. The result was that APIs are indeed copyrighted. The other result was that ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.2k
1 vote

Would the Oracle v. Google lawsuit imply that any API can be re-implemented, including hardware CPU ISAs?

This case was considered "fair usage" by a jury, which always requires a case-by-case analysis. So while we may guess that similar cases are likely to have similar outcomes, relying on it is very ...
Ciro Santilli OurBigBook.com's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible