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The tag belongs to the approved Stack Overflow tag set. But the mortality of questions is very high (about 20%, heuristic estimation).

The presence of tag suggests that you may ask about legal issues, but many moderators tends to close such questions as off topic because not related to code development. I think that this is a bad ambivalence.


I think that legal issues are strongly related to development issues, especially for startuppers. And I think that questions tagged as "legal" should have more chance to survive.

I think that the community should be clearer about the acceptance policy for "legal" issues on Stack Overflow. Do we want questions about legal issues or not?

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closed as off-topic by CRABOLO, Martijn Pieters, Aziz Shaikh, nicael, Shadow Wizard Dec 10 '14 at 20:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – CRABOLO, Martijn Pieters, Aziz Shaikh, nicael, Shadow Wizard
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I quote the ralated post: "In fact, the legal tag is already on our radar as one in need of attention." – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 6:33
Looks like two discussions on the same issue, from different angle - that's why I mentioned this as related, not duplicate. – Shadow Wizard Aug 29 '12 at 6:35
Yes, I agree. But I'm also concerned with downvotes without comments. I thought that "legal" topic is so important, especially for startuppers. May be that startuppers are not so present in stackoverflow community... – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 6:44
@KurtUXD There are a lot of topics that are extremely important, but that's says absolutely nothing about whether the topics are on topic on Stack Overflow. The question you need to ask yourself is: Can questions on legal issues be expertly answered by programmers? The obvious answer is no, hence they are off topic. – Yannis Aug 29 '12 at 6:47
@Yannis - My question is different. It is a really direct question, a propositive question to make the community less ambigous, hence better. Infact my question is: "Do we want legal topic in stackoverflow?". Why don't you dare to answer below with your opinion? Your answer should be: No, we don't want legal topics in stackoverflow, because programmers are not able to answer. – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 6:59
Why don't you dare to answer below with your opinion? You realise you posted this 3 minutes after I posted an answer? – Yannis Aug 29 '12 at 7:00
@KurtUXD: Downvotes are different on meta. Your question is based on a serious misconception about tags - there are no "approved" tags, the scope of the site is explained in the FAQ. – Wladimir Palant Aug 29 '12 at 7:05
@Yannis - Yes, you are right, this is not really a chat... But, you know, fastness keeps discussion alive and this is a unresolved question, but also a recognized as a key issue ("the legal tag is already on our radar", here:…) – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 7:07
I would have answered this question, but my lawyer advised not to. – Toon Krijthe Aug 29 '12 at 7:08
@Wladimir: we are not generically talking about "tags", but about a "key tag". Infact "the legal tag is already on our radar" see here:…. – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 7:09
@KurtUXD: Lots of tags are, regardless of what you consider to be a "key tag". There are literally thousands of mistakenly created tags on SO and cleanup efforts are launched regularly on Meta. However, the effort required is considerable. – Wladimir Palant Aug 29 '12 at 7:16
I wonder what you mean by 'the approved stackoverflow tag set'. – AakashM Aug 29 '12 at 8:40
There's no such thing as an "approved tag set". There are simply some tags that haven't been cleaned up yet. If you really want something to sink your teeth into, try the books tags. – casperOne Aug 29 '12 at 12:01
Also, as a point of clarification, only 1 out 5 of the closed questions in this tag that I see in the first page of results were closed by actual moderators. The remainder were voted on only by community members, and different members in each instance. – Brad Larson Aug 29 '12 at 15:27

I'm surprised that there are so many open legal questions. Legal issues are extremely off topic, however "related" with programming they might be, we are not lawyers and we can not provide any kind of expert legal advice. And in some locales / jurisdictions we'd be prohibited by law in doing so, even if we were lawyers.

This is a tag in serious need of a cleanup.

And just in case: Software licencing may be on topic on Programmers but migration of old questions is generally discouraged and we (the Programmers community) really don't want Stack Overflows's old questions. If legal issues are indeed off topic for Stack Overflow, close them here as such, migration is not an option.

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Yannis, thanks for your clear answer. Since legal question are so many, but also so problematic, I suggest to explicit mention legal topics among faq#dontask examples. So we can preserve good faith users form unexpected blocking (like happened to me). – Kurt UXD Aug 29 '12 at 7:36
@KurtUXD I don't think legal issues should be explicitly mentioned in the FAQ as off topic, the FAQ clearly states that you should only ask about specific programming problems or software tools commonly used by programmers. There are numerous topics that might be very important to programming, but if they are not programming topics themselves then they are off topic, we can't possibly list all of them in the FAQ. – Yannis Aug 29 '12 at 7:39
@KurtUXD: 500 questions in the context of Stack Overflow isn't "many" and certainly not enough to justify being mentioned explicitly in the FAQ when they are already covered indirectly. For comparison, the top tags have question numbers going into hundreds of thousands and you currently have to go to page 56 of the tags page to find legal where it is listed along with numerous tags that probably shouldn't have been created in the first place. – Wladimir Palant Aug 29 '12 at 8:56
FUUUU, I don't know if I have time today to close and/or remove the tags on 552 questions... – casperOne Aug 29 '12 at 12:05
And there's the related ethics tag as well.... Double FUUU – casperOne Aug 29 '12 at 12:06

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