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21

Yes We currently have lots of great Q&A's that specifically address licensing. Questions about software licences are well within the purview of the Software Development Life-Cycle. We should not be gerrymandering our site's scope to specifically exclude them just because Law.SE exists. Instead, we should be jealous of our questions. If an aspect of ...


19

As a rule of thumb, questions are on topic if they are answerable by expert programmers, as opposed to expert lawyers. Additionally, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if your question is on topic or not: Is the question about the spirit of the license, or the detailed terms of the license? Programmers can easily understand things ...


16

No The concept of licensing questions being on-topic has a long history. When the topicality of this site was first discussed, "software law" was originally on-topic. But this definition of legal questions needed clarification. Eventually, we even updated the help documentation to better reflect scope. And then had to make more changes to the FAQ (which pre-...


13

My understanding on legal/licensing questions has always been: If it can be reasonably and confidently answered by an experienced programmer, without needing to consult any actual lawyers, then it's okay here. For instance, it's fair to ask a programmer whether or not you can legally sell a closed-source program that dynamically links to a GPL'd library. ...


13

The Help Center is about as authorative as it gets. Questions about software licenses are on-topic, legal assistance is off-topic. It's reasonable to assume that software developers are familiar with existing licenses and how they impact a project, which is why they are on-topic.


7

I tend to agree, but I think my reasoning is more focused on pragmatism. In my eyes, this isn't so much about having a "clear and concise" scope (as you note in a comment). The motivation of an SE site is to provide useful information to askers and readers. Expert participants on Law and Open Source are likely to have more knowledge and experience in ...


6

I think that amon's answer pretty much covers it, but as the moderator who deleted it, I wanted to walk through my process. The answer was brought to the attention of the mod team by flags. At least one user thought that the post needed moderator intervention to address concerns that the community members could not handle on their own. In response to the ...


6

First of all, the question itself would be considered off topic under current rules. It is a detailed legal question about the AGPLv3 and not about really about software engineering. The question should be closed. Nevertheless, your answer addresses this legal topic. It presents a valid opinion. It however fails to clarify what the commonly accepted ...


5

One other way to think about it is from a courtroom sense. Professional programmers can serve as experts about programming things, providing information about them, but no opinions about how they apply to the particular case or law itself. Likewise, we try to offer no bias to our answers so they're more useful to our audience. For your particular question, ...


5

As the OP, I'd like to put in my 2 cents: This question wasn't meant as seeking legal advice. It was meant to find out if this client's request was technically logical. I've gotten plenty of answers, and they all back up my gut feeling that the request doesn't make sense, and also gave me solid explanations as to why screenshots aren't more reliable than ...


4

As users it is not our job to police the content on this site in order to ensure that it conforms to every possible jurisdiction (this is, after all, an international audience). It is even less so our job to enforce the licenses and terms of service of some unrelated third party. In section 3 “subscriber content” of the SE terms of service, we do however ...


4

I think that the "not obviously on topic" parts of question, fit under the "freelancing and business concerns" category. I didn't read it as a request for any of kind legal aid, my interpretation was quite close to what the OP actually meant. Some answers did treat the question as a purely legal one, but most went into legal territory to illustrate that ...


1

There's also the legal principal of "silence is consent". So if the PSE guidelines state that the consensus is that its users don't have that legal authority, and the users take action on that basis, and no one raises a hue and cry, then that's tacit agreement with that consensus. By contrast, if the guidelines stated (correctly) that no one here has ...


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