I'm wondering if there is some license which I could put on my website on which I could publish an open-source application that potentially could be used for purposes of cheating in one game for smartphones.

Now, I have to stress that the goal of the application is in no way cheating, so with this license I want to eliminate the possibility that the authors of the smartphone game (in which my bot could be used) could sue me if someone else starts using the application to get better at their game.

I may be too paranoid, but with all the weird laws you just never know.

I did a little research and came up with Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0), but was wondering whether any of you guys were ever in a similar situation, and what you did in that case?

By the way, I did read and consider the moral implications of the possible app appearing on my site, so now I just need some license as stated in the question.

  • 1
    "Eliminate the possibility of the authors... to sue me" Huh? ANYONE can sue ANYONE for ANY reason. And since judges don't really understand most things digital, they don't immediately laugh at silly things and dismiss them. If you can't afford a lawyer to defend yourself, your best strategy is to not have anything worth taking. But the premise of your question is flawed if you think a license will keep people from suing you. At best it may keep them from winning a case after you spend a million in lawyer fees.
    – Philip
    Feb 15, 2013 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


First and foremost, you should be consulting with a lawyer. Just as you've spent years learning your trade, they've spent years learning the ins and outs of law & liability. They know what you can and can't say, what will hold up in court, what is actually en forcible and WHAT MUST BE WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS.

That said, if your product is some sort of general-purpose tool (e.g. packet sniffer, debugger...), you're probably pretty safe as long as you're not promoting it as being used for cheating. Definitely don't make reference to any particular game. On top of that, it's pretty common to have a "we're not responsible for what you do with our software" clause.

  • ...or release it anonymously in a pastebin or some such to avoid trouble like that
    – Earlz
    Feb 15, 2013 at 15:48

I would think that you would have a hard time enforcing such a license. There will be some ambiguity in the license, and only a court would be able to decide whether someone violates it. Would I be correct to say that you don't have a financial interest in enforcing your license? If so I doubt that you'd be willing to pay the legal fees.

Treat your library like any other piece of technology: it is possible to use it for both good and nefarious purposes. Choose an open-source license that suits you and perhaps put an additional disclaimer or statement along-side it, expressing your wishes.

It may be more effective to modify your library so it less useful for cheating, but still functional for it's intended purpose.

  • Thx for your answer. Yes, I have no interest whatsoever in earning any money from this - it was a science project which looked for the fastest method to calculate the words in a boggle like game. So, hmm, I could just go with the CC license and additionaly add something like "I can not be held responsible for any missuse of this project". Whould that suffice? As, I don't want to give too much detail in what or where the "missuse" might be used.
    – Nikola
    Feb 15, 2013 at 13:01
  • Many licenses include "no warranty" and "can't sue me" clauses. Honestly, it doesn't sound like misuse of your library it worth worrying about. It's not exactly critical technology... Feb 15, 2013 at 14:09
  • can you please point out few? Cause I haven't found that (or didn't understand) in CC.
    – Nikola
    Feb 15, 2013 at 14:12
  • See sections 5 and 6 of the CC-BY license, or the ALL CAPS section of the MIT license. Feb 15, 2013 at 14:36

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