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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Different licensing situations in software development - Part 3

In previous posts (software licensing), I have been writing about software licensing, the need for the same, and what implications this has for the software development process. In this post, I will write more on this topic.
Another area where people slip up is when they need an image for their software. Consider that you are developing a software that is meant for children, and you want a great image for some of the dialogs / screens that are there in the software. Now, what do you do ? Well, I have seen many cases where people look for some great looking images on the internet, find them, reshape them as per their needs, and then start using those images.
In many cases, this strategy works, since the original owner of the image does not that something like this has happened. Or the images used are such that they are somewhat generic, and the owner cannot even figure out that this is their specific image. Or, the person thinks that it is just an image, and the effort involved to challenge the usage of the image in a commercial usage is not worth it.
But there is a contra case. Suppose you just downloaded some images, and these images also show some recognizable faces. This is a very serious matter. When a recognizable person is used in commercial situations, the person should have given permission to use their image for this specific purpose. If this is not done, the person can file suit, and possibly claim penalties for such unauthorized usage. Such usage is typically covered under a term such as a model release (link)

In case you are still not convinced about the need to use the proper software licenses / copyright of images, I will wrote more about this in the next post on this subject.

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