Author Topic: Great software, but is it legal?  (Read 1266 times)

Offline Mike

Great software, but is it legal?
« on: November 17, 2016, 09:54:40 PM »
First off, let me say that I really like the software and I hope that Financier will succeed. I'm ready to start using Financier as soon as the mobile app and scheduled transactions are complete. However, the software is obviously a web based clone of YNAB4. Is there any kind of copyright infringement here? I would hate to start using the software and then find that Financier received a cease and desist letter from YNAB. Is it legal to create a web based clone of YNAB4?
In the Cascade Mountains of Oregon

Offline Joel

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 09:56:29 PM »
What would be illegal about the software? It's no different than the alternatives for Microsoft office, in my opinion.
Biking and budgeting my way to early retirement!

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Offline Billy_McSkintos

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 11:03:37 PM »
There is no copied code, it is entirely written from scratch.
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Offline Alex

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 06:54:25 AM »
Financier is definitely 100% legal. As others said, it was written entirely from the ground up, no copyright infringement. 🙂
I am the Financier owner/admin/coder dude.

Offline Mike

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 09:55:52 AM »
I understand that the software was written from scratch. I was concerned about "Substantial Similarity" in copyright law https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substantial_similarity. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that substantial similarity might apply here. I hope this is not true, but I think it is wise to at least consider the possibility of infringement. I wouldn't want to see Alex or the Financier customers harmed by legal action from YNAB. I just wanted to raise the issue for consideration, I'll go back to my yard work now.
In the Cascade Mountains of Oregon

Offline Billy_McSkintos

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 10:32:13 AM »
It's green not blue, we cool.
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Offline Alex

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2016, 01:21:00 PM »
Patents (of which there are none) would really be the only basis for legal action IMO, but I'm not a lawyer. :)
I am the Financier owner/admin/coder dude.

Offline jeremiahsvow

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2016, 01:33:47 PM »
I found the question interesting. I found this after a quick search. It seems that the requirements are similar for patents.

Quote
What is not protected by copyright?

1. Ideas, Methods, or Systems

Ideas, methods, and systems are not covered by copyright protection. According to the US Copyright Office, Circular 2, this covers quite a few things including making, or building things; scientific or technical methods or discoveries; business operations or procedures; mathematical principles; formulas, algorithms; or any other concept, process, or method of operation. -Legal Zoom (And yes I know this sight is almost like wikipedia, but the information is still useful.  ;) )

Offline overdesigned

Re: Great software, but is it legal?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 12:00:22 PM »
I Am Not A Lawyer, But...

There's a fairly large precedent set by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corp. stating that the overall "look and feel" of a piece of software is not copyright-able, only very specific attributes thereof (and maybe not even then?).  So, theoretically something like "Financier uses a lightning bolt icon for monthly options" could be something they could try to sue over, but "Financier looks a whole lot like YNAB" is not.