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119

Releasing a project under the MIT license is giving people permission to fork the project. Part of the philosophy behind free software is to give users and developers the right to use, modify, and release the software in ways that wouldn't normally be allowed. If you don't want people to do this, then don't use the MIT license. You can't really complain when ...


87

IANAL. Contract does matter here. That's all I can say on that and I won't repeat the advice everyone else has given. The company may already own it and you have no say in the matter. Even a lawyer would tell you to hire a lawyer if you decide to simply say "No". So if that's your choice, hire a lawyer. I read and re-read this question until I figured ...


72

Was Xamarin's action and the way the action was done ethical or not? Well, let's ask an expert - The Open Source Initiative's listing of the MIT License itself, with the license quoted in it's entirety: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and ...


68

Make sure that you're not overreacting. You are fresh, probably haven't worked a lot of (any?) other places, and so aren't prepared for the world of "real life code." Real life code is a horrible thing. It's like your nice school code and your obsessively tweaked personal project code had sex in the basement of a nuclear reactor and the baby grew up in a ...


58

Read Joel On Software - things you should never do. Understand his reasoning, then read a few other article on bad software and how to fix it, written by managers, not programmers. Armed with this information you will be able to present a case for fixing it, in terms that managers understand and care about. Hint: Good managers don't spend time and money ...


54

I think you are being paranoid. If they are interviewing phone screening 10 people, that's roughly 10 man-hours they are spending in on this phase of the interviewing. Plus the cost of advertizing the job, reading a bunch of resumes, etc. And they are getting random ideas from 10 developers, many of whom are probably "also rans" in the employment race. ...


49

It depends on the your contract with Company A. Do they have any clauses in the contract regarding the works you write outside of work? Some do. If that's the case, I'm not sure what you can do. If not, you are still the owner of the code and you aren't obligated to give it up. You could try to sell them the application source code. I agree that you ...


45

I wonder whether I actually have an ethical duty to make room for more talented people and find myself another kind of job No, you don't. If anything, you have an ethical duty to take care of yourself and your dependents. There's no shortage of jobs for talented developers, and there's no reason that you should put the interests of people that you ...


45

I have to disagree with the ROT-13 solution. Obfuscating your banned words simply because the sight of them might offend someone is a waste of time. Your dictionary of bad words/bad-word-rules should come from a separate file anyways (which could be loaded at runtime, or embedded as a resource). Obfuscating this file simply makes it more difficult for you/...


40

I think you've done your part by pointing out the problem and suggesting an alternative. If they insist that you do things that expose them to a certain level of risk, you should make sure you have a paper trail (and back-ups of it) showing that they explicitly requested this, knowing the risks involved. If you're really concerned, you could tell them that ...


38

I'm not a lawyer. It sounds like you already have one for the purposes of suing your client; while you have him or her on retainer I would recommend getting their advice on this. There are some other questions on this site that deal with "kill switches" and other ways to disable software for which the developer has not received compensation. It is usually ...


38

Is it okay to use this code at work, thus saving me (and the company) time? Yes, it's ethical. In the case you describe that you own the code, so you can freely give it to your company. They hired you to write code so they trust your code. If so, can I port any bug fixes and enhancements back to my personal library? Your contract probably forbids this ...


34

There exist software projects that use a license like this. However, these would not be considered free licenses by the OSI definition. More importantly, the enforceability of these licenses has been strongly questioned every time I've seen them mentioned, and they have never, to the best of my knowledge, been tested in court. Using such a license is ...


31

On the contrary, I think that the people who score highly on the programmer competency matrix (or any similar measure) have an ethical duty not to be elitist snobs. Ted Neward wrote a fantastic blog post recently which I think is relevant here. Here's my favourite quote from it: Not all of us writing code have to be artists. Frankly, in the world of ...


29

User Story 1: Lie to 5 existing users Since we have only 5 users, we have decided to lie to them and tell them there are 500 users. Do you really think that these 5 users won't find it strange for a website to be dead even though it claims to have 500 users? User Story 2: Remind 5 existing users of how inactive the site is Let our existing users know ...


26

I have a very reliable rule of thumb when it comes to metrics: If I'm not proud of a value, I don't advertise the value. First of all, let's talk about what that doesn't mean. It doesn't mean lying. This can be tricky sometimes, but there's a difference between lying and lack of disclosure. For example, I'm still in college, and I don't put my GPA on my ...


25

When you look at the current market, there are already licenses that have stipulations about what the software might be used for. Apple has a stipulation in their iTunes license which says you're not allowed to use it to develop nuclear weapons. the game Far Cry 2 has a stipulation in the license that you're not allowed to use it contrary to morality or ...


24

It would be better to say "I think that can be done". or "I'll check and get back to you". I've had times where I've said no or counter proposed something. If the customer wants "a browser based application that works without ever being connected to the internet and uses tactile feedback", it probably is possible. But it is expensive and it would be more ...


23

If I were the OP, I would ignore every answer posted! You are asking a LEGAL question and getting answers from people who ARE NOT LAWYERS! Simply put, you need to consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction. The answer to your question may be different based on your locality. A lot of people here (who are not lawyers) talk about "contracts" however, just ...


22

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it" - George Bernard Shaw People are people and people starving in India should be no worse or better than anywhere else. If your company fails because your not going with the best option you're not helping anyone. If the options are equal feel free to ...


22

Ethics are quite a bit subjective. Laws aren't. If you can show what you are demanded to do is illegal, you can use that as leverage. IANAL, but I am quite confident that withholding payment to coerce you to do something you think is illegal is really enough to be considered as duress. As for your specific case: It appears that in Germany sending ...


22

Some companies lay claim to the work you've done out of hours too. It depends on the company, some of them are big on IP control. Everything should be down in your contract. The worry is if they lay claim to your freetime work, which has been a horror of mine.


22

1) Does the dual license mean that as long as one or the other is satisfied I'm fine, or does it have to be both? Yes. Specifically, jQuery makes it explicit that you can use it even in commercial environment. Why then it is also with GPL? This is because, if someone wants to make additional javascript library using jQuery, he/she can choose GPL license ...


22

In general, community contributors would retain their copyright to the code they contributed to the project. They license the contribution to you when they contribute the code. If you want to retain the possibility of changing the license terms in the future, you would generally need contributors to assign their copyright to you (either personally or a ...


22

Users don't care. The only time they care is when somebody withdraws the money from their bank account and it appears that it has a link that a few days before, somebody gained full access to your database. In nearly every case I've seen such messages, they were misleading. The most hilarious one was on a website with "military-grade secure"-style labels on ...


21

In concept you are right. Your execution is all wrong. You need to provide him trial licences that expires. Upon full payment give him the Final "forever" licence. All upfront and honest.


20

This is the second question in short succession triggered by that article. Good programmer: I optimize code. Better programmer: I structure data. Best programmer: What's the difference? There's another name for this: premature optimization. Never use early exits. That's the "single point of entry / single point of exit" rule. It's a patch over the real ...


19

The way to rewrite this license to be more free, would be to remove that stupid sentence. Stick to the standard widely adopted MIT license. This particular license has caused all kinds of headaches for downstream developers building upon Douglas Crockford's work, and now means his low level library is having to be carefully picked out and replaced ...


19

In your situation, I'd take your question to the people who hired you, and see what their views on the matter are first. The big question of ethics is that of conflicts of interest, when you have two different interests or requirements pulling you in two different directions. One of them is your obligation to the client here, and if the client doesn't mind ...


19

No. If your clients found out you would be lynched. It's not at all secure. Someone, some how will find out how to trigger it and then suddenly you have the task of contacting all your clients to tell them about it and why they have to do an emergency patch. If you do hack it you are also opening yourself up to criminal proceedings. I assume you have proof ...


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