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  • License question, legal issue?

    Hey.
    Recently, I've been "****ed over" by my old company, to whom I borrowed the license.
    In essence, they've taken a "backup" of the forums (to which I own the license). The backup is both the actual files (quite hacked by me during my free time), as well as the database.

    What exactly does the license entail though?
    The database is (imo) by all means associated with *my* license, and so they wouldn't be allowed to touch it (although knowing my so called colleagues, they will). On the other hand, what would happen if they purchased a license of their own? Would they be allowed to use the current DB?

    To me, it's a question of property (and I consider it *all* to belong to me), but I want to know what you guys think, and also what any of the Jelsoft people say (eg. possible upcoming piracy issue?)
    My open eyes see everything, and you see nothing. . .
    That forum

  • #2
    If you are no longer allowing them to use your license then report their URL here:

    http://www.vbulletin.com/contact/piracy.php

    If they purchase a license then I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to use their own database.
    Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
    Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

    Steve Machol Photography


    Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


    Comment


    • #3
      Well, using their own db wouldn't be a problem, but using a copy of mine?
      Eg, what it comes down to in my opinion.. is the database part of the license, or would anyone be allowed to create their own scripts that pull (&insert) data in the actual vb DB, and not need a vb license?
      My open eyes see everything, and you see nothing. . .
      That forum

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by okidoki
        Well, using their own db wouldn't be a problem, but using a copy of mine?
        Eg, what it comes down to in my opinion.. is the database part of the license, or would anyone be allowed to create their own scripts that pull (&insert) data in the actual vb DB, and not need a vb license?
        I'm afraid you don't have dibs on that

        Comment


        • #5
          How is this your db? The database is not part of the license.
          Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
          Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

          Steve Machol Photography


          Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


          Comment


          • #6
            mainly thinking since the db was created & filled through my license.
            anyway, thanks for clearing that up
            My open eyes see everything, and you see nothing. . .
            That forum

            Comment


            • #7
              Theoretically you can use any database with vbulletin, the content of the database is all that is really there and it is in no way directly attached to your license.

              Comment


              • #8
                How about possessionship? Considering the database content "technically" does belong to okidoki.
                ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

                Comment


                • #9
                  The license only covers the vB files. It does not cover the data created by them. There may be other avenues to explore, but there is nothing in the license that indicates the data created by a forum belongs to the license holder.
                  Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                  Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                  Steve Machol Photography


                  Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OKay so it has been established that the license covers files developed by Jelsoft.

                    How about looking down other avenues such as possessionship since database content generated by vBulletin would technically belong to okidoki...correct?
                    ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                    Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by okidoki
                      Hey.
                      Recently, I've been "****ed over" by my old company, to whom I borrowed the license.
                      In essence, they've taken a "backup" of the forums (to which I own the license). The backup is both the actual files (quite hacked by me during my free time), as well as the database.

                      What exactly does the license entail though?
                      The database is (imo) by all means associated with *my* license, and so they wouldn't be allowed to touch it (although knowing my so called colleagues, they will). On the other hand, what would happen if they purchased a license of their own? Would they be allowed to use the current DB?

                      To me, it's a question of property (and I consider it *all* to belong to me), but I want to know what you guys think, and also what any of the Jelsoft people say (eg. possible upcoming piracy issue?)
                      A few issues IMO

                      First the license itself, you do not mention if the license was paid for by company or by you personnally.

                      If paid for by company the license belongs to them. Does not matter the user name on the license, only who paid for it and who URL it belongs to.

                      BTW, off this topic, is it vBulliten sales policy not to send customers a sales receipt?

                      If you sub license the license you paid for personally to company, (do not know if Jelsoft prohibit this). Then the company should stop using forums as soon as you serve them notice in writing. But all they have to do is buy there own license.

                      As for the work done to hack the board, if it was done by you as an employee (free time or not) to benifit the company or as part of a company activity such as a technical support site, or an additional tool for you to use as part of your job description, then you did this with full knowledge and disclosure over the intended use of the works. So the company can again, use it as you did it for them.

                      After all, I am sure not 100% of all works on board was done on free time.

                      As for the data base contents, you do not say purpose of forums.

                      All registered users who posted, registered with your comapny, and posted under the surmise that they were communicating with the company. In any case the purpose of them to be there was company activity? if so the database contents belong to them. In fact they might have an issue with you if you retain user details of their customers without company permission.

                      You will find, under most countries laws, that the User license of vB and the rights to the database contents are completely seperate issues.

                      After all, if you made any documents at home for work using MS Word, you cannot claim rights to all the word documents in your office because they were made in your copy of MS word.

                      I am in the same position, the registered name on 'my' copy of vBulliten is my own, but the license in reality belongs to the company as they paid for it.

                      I am also doing most of the development in my free time, but I am doing it with no misunderstandings that I will get no payment for it and as it is a company activity, all rights belong to company.

                      Hope this helps you a little in your dilema

                      Best of luck

                      John
                      Thanks In Advance

                      John

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ManagerJosh
                        OKay so it has been established that the license covers files developed by Jelsoft.

                        How about looking down other avenues such as possessionship since database content generated by vBulletin would technically belong to okidoki...correct?
                        Not 100%,

                        Depends on the disclosure to the user & purpose of forum.

                        Did the forums say they were registering on a company site? in this case all DB contents and user lists belong to company. The company, if users beleived they were registering with them, have an obligation to the users themselves.

                        Did the forums say they were registering with okidoki personally? in this case okidoki may have claim to all DB contents and user lists. okidoki, if users beleived they were registering with him personally, has an obligation to the users themselves.

                        It is not such complex argument, what was purpose of gathering registered user & posts? and how were users informed of purpose and/or ownership of site and what URL was used to attract users.

                        Only slant is how users found forum. If they used company URL to find forums, then the only purpose they would have to visit forums & register would be to interact with company. So then DB content ownership is clear, it belongs to company, not matter who constructed it.

                        John
                        Thanks In Advance

                        John

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by okidoki
                          mainly thinking since the db was created & filled through my license.
                          anyway, thanks for clearing that up
                          Sorry okidoki, I actually had to defend such an argument once.

                          Basically you cannot automatically claim rights to actual works because you own the tools.

                          Like I said in other post, you cannot claim any of your text documents done for company business belong to you, even if author, because you owned license for the word processor used to create them.

                          Same for the database, the users/posts contained within the DB, if generated through company URL, belongs to the company. The web host cannot claim rights to the database becuase their web server was used.

                          In fact the ISP/web host will probably have all sorts of disclaimers about their enthusiasm to disown anything hosted by them in their sign up agreement! I would be suprised if Jelsoft do not also have such disclaimers as they cannot reasonably control the use (in essences DB contents) of the vB software on illegal sites.

                          vB was just the medium to fill the database, like the web server & ISP, nothing more.

                          The real owners 'technically' of any posts is the actual users themselves and the only people who can make use of this info are the people it was addressed to, in this case the company, if accessed through company URL.

                          Hope this makes sense.
                          Last edited by john_rsd; Mon 3rd Feb '03, 2:49pm.
                          Thanks In Advance

                          John

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            john: thanks a lot for pointing things out, really helped me think a bit
                            at least i own the license

                            oh well, we'll see how things work out, i suppose
                            My open eyes see everything, and you see nothing. . .
                            That forum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by okidoki
                              john: thanks a lot for pointing things out, really helped me think a bit
                              at least i own the license

                              oh well, we'll see how things work out, i suppose
                              Well, on a happier note

                              if you carried out the extra work in your own time, but as a project for the company or as a direct work instruction, and they did not allocate you enough time and resource during the working day to complete the tasks assigned to you, (see where I am going with this) and this can be proven, and it can also be proven that they knew you were being forced to work in your own time to complete a task they had given you, well, then you may have a case for a claim for unpaid overtime. This is because the company did benifet from this forced pressure.

                              If you voluntary did the work, and would have had enough time during the working day, then forget it.

                              Attack them on pressure of work and unrealistic targets, forcing you to work on your own time to keep your job, and prove they know they were doing this, then you could have a case for constructive/unfair dismissal. If this was the reason for split anyway

                              In any event the chances are if you employ the services of some 'ambulance chasing' lawyers then they may force some payment from the company for you as most of these actions are cheaper to pay off (for the company anyway) than defend.

                              Might as well get some cash as well as payback!
                              Thanks In Advance

                              John

                              Comment

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