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Should moderators enforce NDAs for software vendors?

I came across a question on Stack Overflow today which discusses a subject currently under non-disclosure agreement with the vendor. However, on voting to close there isn't an option to give the reason as that the question is not suitable for public discussion. Could we have that added as a feature?

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marked as duplicate by Pops, Martijn Pieters, jonsca, random Aug 1 '12 at 3:01

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Haveing a close reason of "“subject under non-disclosure” would be great provided I could search for all questions it has been used on. Can you think of a better way of pointing me to the "intesting" questions? –  Ian Ringrose Mar 10 '11 at 16:43
    
@Ian: Questions tagged [Xcode4] –  Robert Harvey Mar 10 '11 at 19:15

3 Answers 3

There is no reason for anyone on Stack Overflow to act as the "NDA Police". If someone is violating their agreement with another party, the matter is between that someone and that other party.

It is possible that rampant discussion of confidential information could lead companies to scrutinize SO and try to take action against it, but unless and until that happens, I don't think we need to worry about it.

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Yes, of course, provided that you are the copyright holder of the material being distributed. In that case, you can file a DMCA (Digital Millenial Copyright Act) infringement notice, and the material must be removed from the site.

However, under section 512(f) of the U.S. Copyright Code you are liable for damages and fees if you perform this action for materials where you are not the copyright holder.

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The DMCA takedown for copyrighted material doesn't apply, because what would be asked in a Stack Overflow question is the ideas related to the materials under NDA. Since Stack Exchange is not distributing the copyrighted material itself, that's no basis for a takedown. –  Mechanical snail Jul 27 '12 at 23:57

I understand where you might be under non-disclosure, but are you sure the questioner is? Unless you happen to work with the questioner, I can't understand how you'd know for sure they are covered by an NDA.

Companies aren't always properly consistent with their NDAs - they may be really good about keeping distributors under NDA, for instance, while not remembering to do the same for a contractor.

Also, it's not uncommon for sales team people to let things slip that they shouldn't.

All I'm saying is that there's lots of ways that someone could get certain information, even if the company didn't mean to release it. If you are under NDA, then you can't discuss it (in other words, you can't answer the question), but that might not mean THEY can't discuss it.

I'd say that no such reason should be listed because the number of times where the person voting can be sure of the questioner's NDA status is going to be vanishingly small.

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well I could point to a blanket NDA statement from a vendor employee, then the number of times becomes automatically non-vanishing. It just failed to vanish :-) lists.apple.com/archives/Cocoa-dev/2008/Jun/msg02670.html –  user23743 Aug 9 '09 at 21:09