I've written my first app, to process images (user photos) on the phone. It writes to the jpegs on the phone, and maybe I'll add functionality to delete selected images.

Do I need to protect myself somehow against any liability, if someone experiences unintentional loss of data, say due to some software bug/error?

If yes, does that mean I'll need a serious software licence, e.g. GPL or Apache 2.0? I'm thinking to release a free (maybe "ad-sponsored") version of the app to begin with, and maybe later release a premium version. Still, this is only a hobby project.

Any thoughts and advice? I'm aware of the licence chooser at http://choosealicense.com, but I wanted to discuss this here first.

Seems everybody's putting apps on Google Play and the App Store... Is everybody taking all this into consideration, or is this really only a concern/worry if the app is a serious, full-time endeavor?

  • For the user it doesn't matter if it is your weekend hobby or your day job, losing the precious photo will make them mad.
    – vonbrand
    Jan 16 '16 at 1:28

Open source licenses are licenses for, well, source. Your liability question has to do with binaries that you publish on an app store. Your liability exposure has to do with the contract you accept when you publish on the app store. Maybe the app store gives you some level of legal protection, and then maybe it doesn't. Even if your source code is available under a license which disclaims liability and warranty, that may not protect you from claims related to the misbehavior of a binary application. Clearly, many people think this is not worth worrying about, but perhaps the law site would be a better place to try to learn why they think that.


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