My question "Can we ship libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll with our installer?" was put on hold.

The legal tag says:

Questions about legal problems which may arise during software development or questions about software law, patents and copyrights in general.

I do not get why legal questions are discouraged if we have a legal tag (seems to be a contradiction). On the other hand sometimes legal questions seem to be OK ( Is it against policy here to answer questions of a legal nature unless you're a lawyer? ). So what is wrong with my question?

  • 1
    As an aside, you may find that law.se is the right place for your question. They do have tags for crypto and export. And your question is tangentially similar to What exactly makes encryption a weapon?. I would be interested to how well that question works on law.se.
    – user40980
    Nov 23, 2015 at 14:37
  • Actually I am located in Germany, the project I`ve been talking about hosted in Europe. I think the crypto weapon thing is mainly a US point of view, but maybe I ask it there. Thanks for the hint. Nov 23, 2015 at 14:43
  • Yes, that may very well change things (which is part of the reason that a person answering the question as a programmer may give the very wrong answer and not know it).
    – user40980
    Nov 23, 2015 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


There's a big fuzzy gray line between the software licensing questions that we find to be on topic, and the rest of the legal questions. Many software licensing questions are legal questions, that are ones that a programmer is at least somewhat competent to answer as a programmer. Most legal questions, however as the more info in the says:

The law is a minefield and the best advice anyone can give when asked about legal matters is often:

ask a lawyer.

Asking legal questions on Stack Exchange is not a substitute for taking proper local legal advice. What we can do is advise whether asking a lawyer is essential or just highly recommended.

We can competently answer some questions. Most often, when the answer is "you need to talk to a lawyer."

With your question, this is something that you need to ask a lawyer. You've gone into the realm of encryption and munitions. If you are in the US, this gets into ITAR and the like. It is not something that as programmers we are even able to properly give you any correct answer.

You need to talk to a lawyer. This goes far beyond the legal questions of "can I remove the header from a BSD licensed file?" that are (marginally) on topic here.

Related: When is a software licensing question on topic?

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