In How can I speed up this serialized array generation php script? the OP states, that they "bought one [...] script" from someone else. Since I could not identify if the script in question was also bought, I asked the OP in a comment to clarify this, since I thought it would be off-topic otherwise.

Another Code Review user then told me, that even if the OP bought it, "[t]his is on topic if the OP is going to maintain this going forward".

That left me wondering:

Is it okay to ask for a review of a piece of code that you did not write yourself, but bought from someone?

Reading the answer of Mathieu Guindon at Asking about code in a pull request to my code base here on meta seems to indicate that this is not the case.

Maybe related:

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a tricky situation, and the answer depends on the terms the script was bought under. If the OP is allowed to make whatever changes they see fit and re-license it under CC-by-SA 4.0, then there's no problem. OTOH from the POV of the person selling that script, the code now being freely available on a public forum could be damaging... I've put a lock on the question, pending a response from the OP. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 22, 2019 at 18:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd propose disallowing such scenario's just to avoid the sticky situations it could cause, but I'm not sure where we'd put the line exactly. There's also the matter of the community normally not handling any legal issues at all. That's a CM job if I remember correctly, since the community isn't equipped to handle it (and can't be held responsible from a legal standpoint). \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Oct 22, 2019 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


All we know is that the OP bought a script: we know nothing of the license it came with (if any), and we don't know whether the terms of that license allow the OP to modify it, let alone putting the code up for review on a public forum, under a (likely) different license.

You did well to ask: if it turns out the OP is not allowed to do this, then the post (and its eventual answers) could be subject to a takedown process, and we would much rather avoid this.

If no clarifications are made, I'm leaning towards closing as off-topic on the basis of authorship (edit: done that now); if OP confirms they own the copy of the code that they bought and that they're free to modify it and re-distribute it under the terms of CC-by-SA 4.0, then the question can be reopened, and the code be reviewed.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Generally, when someone buys a piece of code, I would expect that they do not own the right to redistribute the code. Unless they can also provide a license agreement stating that they do have the right to redistribute (or can somehow ensure us they have that right), I would vote to close. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 22, 2019 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ This sounds great, and I like it more than the previous mentality we've had regarding licensing - 'not our problem'. :D +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Nov 9, 2019 at 10:17

Well, the script came with no exact license. In the "terms" file it only states:

Licensing system rules:

  • A license belongs to a domain / subdomain and not to a person
  • Each license is valid only for a particular domain or subdomain.
  • In case you sell a domain script is installed, the license is transferred to the new owner.
  • In case you want to move the script to another domain, you can do this one one time for a license for free. The license may be transferred to the new domain (the script should be deleted on the old domain and the license on old domain will be canceled). Contact us if you want to move the script to another site / domain.


  • You cannot sale or distribution (free or for a fee) this script, content database or some piece of script code.
  • The code of this script is forbidden to change and redistribute it (free or paid). You can change the script just for your own use and not to resell.
  • In case you have multiple sites and you want to install the script on multiple sites (or multiple subdomains of the same domain), you will have to buy a separate license for each installation in different location. We gives discounts on the purchase of multiple licenses (please contact us for details.)
  • You can delete / edit copyright link to http://this-is-the-link only if you bought the license that allows that. Deletion or modification without the right of the copyright link to us automatically leads to loss of license validity (even if you bought it), it can reactivate only after paying a penalty. Besides the loss of license, delete the link leads to loss of the right to receive technical support from us.

I want to change it for me and just for myself, to get it work.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clarifying - looks like we made you dodge a bullet here, the terms are pretty clear: you can't re-distribute the script, free or not; putting it up for peer review is precisely what "distribution" is. I've deleted the post, only you and 10K+ rep users (+moderators & staff) can see it now (that shouldn't put you in trouble) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 22, 2019 at 19:25
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ IANAL, but this sounds like a very clear license description. \$\endgroup\$
    – AlexV
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ But this is a pretty "elastic" case, am I right? This is a very-very little part of the script and I can rewrite the variables and say I wrote it myself... \$\endgroup\$
    – VORiAND
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nevermind, I will try to fix it myself. thanks :) \$\endgroup\$
    – VORiAND
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:28
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Licensing issues have to be the most frustrating thing... as a community we like to avoid legal problems with other people's code though (DMCA takedown is annoying for everyone involved). I totally sympathize and hope you find a solution.. and that you come back with some of your code to enhance! =) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 22, 2019 at 19:36

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