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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Is Microsoft allowed to bring Playstation games (that were ported to PC) to Xbox, or would they face legal backlash?

Sony's Playstation has several games exclusive to their console (e.g. Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart, God of War, Horizon Forbidden Dawn). Recently, Sony ported these games to PC, making them available ...
chausies's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can I legally bypass software when their data is freely available? [closed]

I have built an app on top of an existing ancient software application. That ancient application exists of two parts; a software application and some actual hardware that provides specific sensor data ...
gerb0n's user avatar
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71 views

How to prevent legal issues when allowing anonymous users to upload arbitrary content?

A website like https://cloudconvert.com allows any anonymous user to upload arbitrary video/audio/file and convert it to another format. It seems to save the file temporarily for 2 hours before ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does re-implementing a software API violate copyright?

Company A sells a software services. To promote adoption, it publicly documents the programmable interface. Company B develops a competing software servic implementing the same interface (but blackbox ...
Paul Draper's user avatar
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0 answers
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When using material that requests attribution, do you have to when using internally?

FlatIcon requests that we add attribution (it is required according to the website). In the case of apps (my case), it states the following: Paste this link on the website where your app is available ...
Parrotmaster's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
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Is making a copycat proprietary software against the law?

Suppose I build and sell closed-source and proprietary software that exactly looks like Microsoft Visual Studio 2022, both in appearance and functionality, but uses a different source code, name, and ...
user366312's user avatar
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1 answer
153 views

Can Microsoft be held responsible for printers missing after a software update?

I want to learn about software liability but most articles on the internet are very generic. So I am asking this specific question to learn by example. Let's assume after a Windows update printers are ...
zomega's user avatar
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2 answers
104 views

Does the end user need a license for embedded software? Or just the manufacturer?

According to this answer, legal responsibility for operations performed via computer isn't as simple as always attaching to the owner of the computer or to the person who hit the button. It attaches ...
interfect's user avatar
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3 answers
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If I pay for a software, do I have the rights to access its source code?

In other words, can I reverse engineer the software that I paid for? I feel like since I spent money, I should be able to know what the software is actually doing and does it have any hidden malware ...
No Name's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it illegal to simultaneously run instances of a software more than I physically own?

I own old gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS. The consoles have aged significantly and they have a hard time recognizing legit cartridges, so I dumped the contents of dozens of carts on a 3rd ...
omf39953's user avatar
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5 answers
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Who is accountable if a truly driverless car hits and kills a person? [duplicate]

Last night, I couldn't sleep, and in my wakeful state, I allowed the river of thoughts to take me wherever it wanted to flow. This led me to a question: "Who is accountable if a truly driverless ...
Lion Lai's user avatar
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Does the personal data use required to distribute software online make activity "commercial"?

The EU Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) has an exception for non-commercial/open source software. As an exception to the exception, commercial activity seems to explicitly include "the use of personal ...
User65535's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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What stops stolen software from offering a valid license?

A common pattern in software distribution is to have an installer program that pops up and offers the user a license to the software, and prompts the user to accept it. This End User License Agreement ...
interfect's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
327 views

Trying to get a complete set of SCOTUS opinions

I am trying to get a complete set of SCOTUS opinions, and have been trying to use courtlistener.com for the purpose, but the API is horrifically under-documented, and crippled. If anyone can tell me ...
Igor Rivin's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are developers data processors?

This question is inspired by this other question: What are an employed/contracted software developer's responsibilities under the GDPR? I wanted to understand more precisely the concept of a data ...
User8's user avatar
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0 answers
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Is it legal for two or more users to use a Microsoft Windows computer at the same time?

I happened across a video called 7 Users on 1 PC! - but is it legal? that is about an older product that allowed a computer with Windows XP or Windows server to be used by 7 different users at once ...
Alex Cannon's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
267 views

Will this be considered proof of purchase?

Each product has a traceable serial number, and to operate the product, it must be registered and activated through the manufacturer's software. The registration and activation process requires the ...
Skies's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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If a person is working for two companies as a regular employee who owns the copyright to software created by that employee?

The general rule is that if you are an employee software you create in the course of your employment belongs to your employer. In the United States an employee can work for more than one company ...
zelinka's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
249 views

When will the baseline patents for encoding/decoding the AAC format expire?

The MP4 container is the most ubiquitous video format in the world. It is commonly used with the H.264 video codec, of which there has been a lot written about when the patents for this codec will ...
ripandtear's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Why is disclosing that you offer no warranties so prevalent in documents?

I was signing an NDA and noticed that there was a clause on the owner offering no warranty relating to the document. I never particularly understood this. It is often prevalent in copyleft licenses ...
shr4pnel's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
96 views

Can a company that releases code as GPL, use it privately?

If a company has a Github repo under GPL license, can they, as the owners of the original code, distribute closed-source copies of it, i.e do they have a different right over the code ?
Mah Neh's user avatar
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USA Employment Law: Job Search with Moonlighting

I am a Software Developer contractor but I also want to have my own side-hustle business. This side hustle business might contain programming, research or developing new software products. However, it ...
jbdundas's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Can ex-employer ask/require in a severance agreement that if I plan to disclose information about the severance agreement, I must tell them first?

Can a severance agreement ask/force an employee to inform the ex-employer if they plan to disclose the severance agreement? My understanding is that the National Labor Relations Act allows me to share ...
abaines's user avatar
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0 answers
157 views

Would it be legal to avoid Unity (Game Engine) licensing by having the end-user build the project

Is it legal (assuming US) if instead of paying for a proprietary software and accepting their terms and conditions for distribution, to require the user to own this proprietary software and use it as ...
Cedric Martens's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Can a software's dictionary file include popular culture terms?

Example: can a dictionary included in a word processor include pop culture terms, such as character names, so they are recognized as valid words (not triggering autocorrect or spellcheck) etc. Should ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
95 views

How did software copyright work in the US before 1978?

Prior to the Copyright Act of 1976 (which, confusingly, only went into effect in 1978) the copyright rules were different. One of the things that was introduced was that after the beginning of 1978, ...
David Given's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it legal to backdate monthly software license fees if you reactivate a license?

I live in the UK and use software from a US-based company. I currently pay a software licence fee of $150 every six months. This covers access to support and access to monthly software updates, new ...
Homercles's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
260 views

What is the copyright status of this piece of code from 1976?

Back in 1976, Steve Wozniak of Apple fame published a computer program library in volume 1, issue 7 of Dr Dobbs Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia (Running Light Without Overbyte), a ...
David Given's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Question concerning the legality of Software Patents

I have a question concering the public reveal of new patents filed by Nintendo Co., Ltd., and how such patents are legal given how general the concepts are, and how this would effect development of ...
DanceroftheStars's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
90 views

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

The firmware for an embedded device (e.g., a toaster) is modified significantly. Algorithms are rewritten from scratch, the code is made compatible with different hardware, etc. The end (hardware) ...
Harry Zalessky's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is a "login timestamp" considered as personal data according to GDPR?

If software is saving the timestamp of the last login of a user, would that timestamp itself be considered personal data by GDPR?
Mr. Eivind's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
335 views

GDPR and privacy policy compliance for software used internally by customer company

We are developing software that are sold to and used by other companies. In the software, certain types of personal data, like name, email and phone number, can be stored when a user registers. The ...
Mr. Eivind's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
282 views

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

I purchased a typical mid-range laptop in late March this year. It came with Windows preinstalled. As soon as I unpacked the computer I removed Windows and installed Linux. I have been using it ...
lbx1807's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
71 views

I need to know if I need a privacy policy for a computer app [closed]

make computer apps using Winforms and such the apps that i make are computer side only nothing gets stored off the computer nothing gets moved anywhere else lets say i have an app that needs your ...
Zerium4's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
216 views

Is it legal to change user agent?

Assume (hypothetically), I'm using jsoup to download certain news website in my public android app. When I don't change user-agent in jsoup it redirects me to another website. Is it legal to change ...
xralf's user avatar
  • 119
2 votes
1 answer
154 views

Is the usage of an OCR service causing copyright issues when a photo of a book page is analyzed?

Here's the scenario A user takes a photo using an app from a book, which might have be copyrighted. The app then uploads the photo to a cloud service in order to analyze it using OCR The app receives ...
HowlingCoder's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
126 views

Commerical usage of sentence-transformers/multi-qa-mpnet-base-cos-v1 [closed]

We are trying to use a HuggingFace Embedding model - multi-qa-mpnet-base-cos-v1 for an internal Large Language Model powered application. While reading the documentation it says (not verbatim): For ...
cannot_mutably_borrow's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Closed source code theft prevention via license

Let's say I have an app stored as a closed source code (e.g on github) for which I have a software license in place (Apache 2.0), is this enough to prevent/prosecute an employee or just a random ...
Jan Safronov's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
100 views

usage of the same applicationname

we are currently developing a mobile-App for Android and IOS and we would like to use a name for this application, that already exists: "YouTrack". BUT of course our application has nothing ...
mech's user avatar
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-3 votes
2 answers
111 views

Hackintosh vs. fair use

Note: Cross-posted from SE SuperUser to get thoughts from legal experts here. Follow up question to Revisit the Hackintosh policy. Use case: I create a userscript (in a [licenced] Windows or a Linux)...
Gerold Broser's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

Is it common for software licenses to, as written, technically prohibit normal and expected use of the software?

In Is distributing software that makes modifications to video games legal? an example snippet of a video game license is given, which reads: You may not copy the Software (except as specifically ...
interfect's user avatar
  • 2,517
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

Is it against the DMCA to use the recent implementation of the Windows XP's product activation algorithm if one has an XP licence?

The Windows XP's product activation encryption algorithm has recently been "cracked", and a software implementation that emulates the telephone activation question / response procedure is ...
User65535's user avatar
  • 6,526
4 votes
2 answers
226 views

Is distributing software that makes modifications to video games legal?

Unlike most game mods (which are, to my knowledge, a distribution of a copy of modified game software), I'm writing a small desktop application which allows users to make their own custom changes (...
Chris_Drake_146's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Creating an application to streamline Dungeons and Dragons

I've been working on an application that would streamline the average Dungeons and Dragons 5e tabletop experience, and it only recently occurred to me that doing so may infringe on copyrights. ...
Sam Pauley's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Is there a body that assists in requesting source code from companies thay are required by license to release their codeass

In short, I want to have the source code of the kernel of a specific Android phone that is produced by a one specific reputable south Korean company. They are using Android, thus they are obligated by ...
Mark Segal's user avatar
29 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why do some licenses have a clause stating that one can't violate the law?

Example of such a clause in the Creative MLOpen RAIL-M dated August 22, 2022 used by runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5: You agree not to use the Model or Derivatives of the Model: In any way that ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
101 views

Are licenses on "source available" products binding?

There are a number of companies which make their source code available in various public forums like Github or Gitlab. These products are not open source, but the source is available for public ...
Josiah's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does copyrights work for mobile/web applications?

If a mobile/web developer creates an application like Uber, then sells it to a company, and the company also wants the copyrights for the application, what happens if after few months another company ...
best_of_man's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Can we use images from Wikimedia Commons in a product that we sell?

Say we are creating an educational application that needs to use a number of images as part of its lessons. Since it would be prohibitively expensive if we had to hire an artist to create all the ...
Cybernetic's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
57 views

GPL: distribute compiled binary [closed]

Is it legal to modify GPL v3.0 content and distribute a binary of the remixed content without disclosing the modified source code?
Test's user avatar
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