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Old November 23, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Default General software question about copyright

No I'm not asking about pirating software, I actually have a legitimate question.

Say you are making a program or whatever, if you want to be able to extract information from a file format that is produced by another company and use it to build data into yours, how does that work?

Let's say for example I need to pull Excel data for the purposes of building a database within the program. I also want the end user to be able to do this in the event they want to stop using Excel and import this data to their customer database or whatever.

Are you liable to be sued, or is it fair game because you are just importing data, or do you have to pay licensing fees to the company of that file format?

I have no idea about this, and was actually quite curious.

Thanks!
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Old November 23, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Depends what you're borrowing/importing and what sort of licensing/copyright model the owner holds.

I would say you're fine if there's API's available that allow you to import said file into another program which you've written. I believe MS Office extensions are fairly well supported by .NET and VB for example.

If you're decompiling a file though to extract data from it, then I'd say that's illegal.
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Old November 23, 2011, 03:40 PM
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it also depends on the software you have to read the software's copyright each one is a little different.
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Old November 23, 2011, 03:54 PM
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What do you mean by pulling data from excel? If you mean the functions in excel then yeah that would be close to copyright. If you were however just wanting the raw values you can export it as several different file types/data organized file types that are universal and not copyrighted.
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Old November 23, 2011, 11:02 PM
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I was referring to raw data.
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