Possible Duplicate:
Should moderators enforce NDAs for software vendors?

Somebody I know thinks that some of the questions/answers on stackoverflow violates certain core SDK agreements. Is this true?

  • I assume you mean NDA agreements?
    – Sam Cogan
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


He's probably referring to iPhone SDK questions. There was a big stink when the iPhone SDK first came out about the restrictive NDA users had to sign to gain access to it.

First of all, that's an issue for those users, not for the StackOverflow administration. Secondly, IIRC after the initial stink Apple backpedaled on some of the worst of the terms and basically indicated to developers that it wasn't interested in enforcing most of the rest.

  • There's some question as to why Apple had the NDAs. Another explanation I've seen is that Apple likes to have NDAs for not-quite-solid SDKs, and so developers who wanted early access had to accept the NDAs. Apple is secretive, but they're usually kinda reasonable to developers, ignoring the tendency to pull out the rug now and then. Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 17:58
  • 6
    This. Stack Overflow is not a party to contracts between one of their users and some third party, and no reasonable person could be expected to keep track of the agreements others have or have not made. SO isn't a judge, and it's up to the legal system to sort this kind of thing out.
    – esm
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 21:41

My personal favourite is the question "Where can I get Windows OS’s for testing my programs in Virtual PCs?", where the accepted answer says "get a Technet Plus subscription". My objection is that this is illegal under Microsoft's licensing terms.

EDIT: Kudos to the author of that accepted answer, romandas, who has now edited the answer to mention the licensing problem.

I'm sure there are other examples where people have unwittingly advocated illegal solutions.

  • 1
    Umm... I thought testing and development (as opposed to permanent/normal use) was the whole point of the microsoft technet program. Otherwise, what good is a technet subscription? It might stretch definition of "evaluation" in the license (are you evaluating your software or theirs?), but I think that's kind of the point. Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 16:16
  • 2
    @Joel Coehoorn Sadly that's stretching the definition beyond breaking point. Technet is for sysadmins not developers. This Microsoft paper compares Technet Plus and MSDN subs, and says "software on TechNet Plus is not licensed for developing or testing applications that you have created " download.microsoft.com/documents/uk/technet/abouttn/…
    – MarkJ
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 12:50