We accept licensing questions on Ask Ubuntu. Or at least many such questions.
Here are just a few such questions that the community has embraced. (And this is just what I was able to find in under 10 seconds.)
- What are the legal consequences of customizing the LiveCD?
- Is using Internet Explorer 6 on PlayonLinux legal?
- Legal issue with bundling Gnome3 on Ubuntu install?
Do we draw the line when a licensing question is about software provided in a PPA rather than one of the official software sources?
This is the question that's motivated me to ask this, but I'm interested in the general issue as well.
My feeling is that we should allow these questions for the time being. After all, we allowed the question about Internet Explorer 6! But I think we should revisit the matter if we start seeing a lot of subjective answers, bad advice, or answers lots of people think are bad advice. (So I think that particular question should not be closed, at least at this time, and if it is closed, should be reopened unless there's a consensus that it ought to stay closed.)
However, I think some people may feel more strongly, one way or the other. So I'm posting this meta question, in case we as a community really are ready to come up with a definitive consensus one way or the other. (Or in case we're not--then at least we can know the issue is controversial, and not have people thinking their view is universal.)
A few more thoughts... (now that the question has been closed...and then received some reopen votes)
I doubt we'd close a question about language usability in (say) Basque, as too localized. So I have a hard time seeing how a question that's only applicable to people subject to the jurisdiction of (say) the United States federal government should be considered too localized.
Imagine a question that asked this:
I've heard Ubuntu is a free operating system. I was in a store recently, which had Ubuntu CD's. When I took one and started to leave, the clerk reacted as though I had been shoplifting. I put the merchandise back and apologized, but now I am very confused. If an establishment offers Ubuntu CD's to the public, is it legal for them to charge for them? Would it have been okay for me to have just walked out of the store with the CD?
I could imagine such a question being closed as not constructive (though I think that would only be justified if there were good reason to think it was trolling). But that question is not off topic.
Being explicitly about whether or not some act is legal does not, by itself, make a question off-topic.
Could this be the difference?
One main difference between Is sublime legal to use? and other questions that ask about what is "legal" and "okay" but have stayed open, is that some current answers to Is sublime legal to use? say it's OK to use it without paying a license fee, but do not seem to support that position adequately.
Someone looking at the question as it is might see this as evidence that it was right to close it. But I think the reason the answers are currently lacking (or at least unbalanced) is that no new answers can be posted, because it is closed.