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. ...


10

The reason why it's no longer in the Help Center is two-fold. First, it was too hard to explain. I think we tried two or three variants of the statements around software licensing in the Help Center. Quite simply - there's a lot of good questions that are beyond the scope of this site and there was no good, clear, concise way to explain how to decide if ...


9

First and foremost, I think the arguments presented in this former answer to a question asked by Thomas Owens if we should continue to accept licensing questions last year are still valid. So I don't think we should make all licensing questions off-topic, even in the presence of "Open Source.SE" and "Law.SE". If questions have the low quality you described, ...


8

I would be very much in favour of completely dropping licensing from our scope. While legal aspects certainly are a part of software engineering, we could only answer the most simple questions here. And anecdotally, most questions are not so simple. Even “simple” questions about open source licenses sometimes have thorny edge cases, making answers here most ...


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 ...


4

The policy for licensing questions is the same as any other question. If the question is on-topic here on Software Engineering, nothing happens. If the question is off-topic here on Software Engineering, it gets closed or migrated. If there exists a site where it is suitable and the question is not crap, it's eligible for migration. We can not have a ...


3

Open source licenses make up the context of the majority of software licensing questions, and there are people here who are thoroughly familiar with most of them. If you have questions about any OSI approved license, and even other non-approved licenses that have seen any kind of significant distribution, someone here can probably help based on prior ...


3

I agree with Yannis's comment that a "how to" guide would be a better blog post than a question. It sounds like the question that you described would turn into a list question, which are called out in the definition of "not constructive". Personally, the "how do I choose a license" boils down to "read each license, decide which one best fits your need". ...


3

Contact the FSF or SFLC for help on GPL enforcement. Or http://gpl-violations.org


2

I have added the licensing to the following questions: Question regarding license violation? Are software license questions acceptable? Software Law definition What is the difference between the "mit" and "mit-license" tags? Would a "how to choose the best OSS license"-type question be appropriate for PSE? Can we put "...


1

I don't feel this question is a good canonical target for "License Shopping" questions as it is overtly broad and would give users the wrong impression about what kinds of questions are okay to ask here. I am not sure that there can be a canonical answer for license shopping that isn't overtly broad. I think the best solution is to try to improve the ...


1

Copyright is what you have when you create something: the right to control how that creative work is used and distributed. A license is the agreement you make (and the conditions you specify) which allows others to use your creative work, and/or distribute your creative work to others.


1

Most of the licensing questions I see take one of two forms. Does [license] allow me to [do something]? I want my software to have [certain restrictions]. What should my license be? The problem is that while programmers can answer questions about software licenses that are common knowledge, we cannot provide expertise about the finer points or gray areas ...


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