I raised a flag on Is there any loop hole to create a .apk file when using the evaluation version of mono for android on Visual Studio? with the message "The poster is asking for help to avoid software licensing / tips on piracy"

I was surprised when it was declined with the message: "We're not really supposed to be policing licensing policies for pieces of software."

My intent when raising the flag was to prevent a discussion on how to circumvent the trial restrictions of a commercial software application. The trial for Monodroid clearly states that the trial is limited to deployment on the emulator, and the poster is openly asking for a "loophole".

Should we be allowing these types of questions on StackOverflow?

  • 2
    Related: Should moderators enforce NDAs for software vendors?. StackOverflow is not going to assess if something is breaking a license or not. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:23
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    For the record, I was the one who declined this particular flag. I'm no fan of people trying to cheat their way out of paying for products, and I've left many comments to this effect, but asking moderators to make judgments on software licensing leads to the awkward situations described in the question Martijn brings up. Thankfully, as Robert points out, these questions are usually bad for other reasons and get closed down because of that. I should have closed it as being too localized myself, but it looks like others have now done that job. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Close and flag these types of questions as too localized.

Yes, I know it's a bit of a contradiction. We do the same with copyright infringements; moderators are not equipped to deal with copyright claims (copyright claims should be directed at SE Corporate, in the form of a DMCA takedown notice), and routinely decline such flags. We do, however, close and delete such posts on the grounds that plagiarized content is not a good fit for the site.

Questions that ask for help with cracking someone else's software are in violation of Stack Exchange's TOS anyway. See https://stackexchange.com/legal, Section 3(C).

  • I think the section you're referring to is now section 4, right? 3C is just about displaying SE content and attributing that content
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 17:11
  • @BenBrocka: Section 4 covers it also. The passage I'm referring to is not 3.c., it's 3(c), which states that Subscriber will not contribute any Content that infringes any intellectual property right of another.
    – user102937
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 1:29
  • Who reads the TOS anyway? (If you do not read the TOS, please vote this comment).
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:24
  • @ΈρικΚωνσταντόπουλος: You can still violate it, whether you read it or not.
    – user102937
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:28
  • @RobertHarvey Yeah, but, implying this question was asked, not many people read the TOS really thoroughly. Remember, my comment above is a comment that is intended to get as many votes as people who just ignore the TOS (like, thinking "Come on, how important can the TOS be?") It would have gotten my vote, but I cannot vote on it.
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:31
  • @ΈρικΚωνσταντόπουλος: Not sure what your point is. You can ignore traffic lights too, but you can still get a ticket if you run the red.
    – user102937
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:39

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