Ethics of posting an old CF custom tag

I know that this isn’t a Lucee related question but you folks are the only tech community I’m part of these days.

I’ve used a handy “custom tag” to do string extraction which I converted to a function and have used for years. This tag was called CF_ReExtract (and I bought it).

There are only 5 hits on google when searching for it. 3 from 2003 and 1 from 2008 and 1 from 2006 which is a post of mine.

The original source was cftag store (I think) but the search results show it linked contentBox. com and was apparently written by Claude Schneegans in 2002. The only Claude Schneegans I can find is a Quebec filmmaker…

It’s been a super useful tool (and I use it in my webserver <> serial port walkthrough I’ve posted on here recently)

Since it doesn’t appear anywhere, thoughts on publishing it on my blog with the above credit?

good q, I posted this on cfml-slack

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Since it appears this was originally a commercial product, I would say the intent of the developer was to keep it closed source and he had sole ownership of the code. So if your version is basically a copy/paste of his, then that seems to go against the spirit of what the developer was trying to do.

That said, I can’t imagine the logic it’s using is very complex and would probably won’t take long to rebuild the functionality from scratch, as something that is totally different from a code perspective, but performs the same task.

So if you’re concerned about the legality or optics, I’d just build something from scratch that performs the same basic operation.


Firstly: I am not a lawyer.

I don’t think ethics comes into it. It’s down to whether you would be acting legally in doing so. It would be unethical to act illegally.

It sounds like you do not have a copy of the licence you originally paid for? That would state what you are licensed to use the software for, which might (or might not) include any access to the source code.

Is the source code file encrypted? If it is, this points to the intent is that you ought not have access to the source code.

Is there a statute of limitations on software licenses? I don’t know. I bet it varies by jurisdiction. Check.

If the source code is plain-text, does it have any sort of copyright notice? If so, that is the baseline of usage. However if the work was produced in a country that is a signatory of the Berne Convention (almost all are), it is automatically copyrighted anyhow.

If the source code is plain-text, even under copyright, you can reproduce it under the notion of “fair use” (google the stipulations), however I don’t think what you are suggesting would come under “fair use”.

Copyright aside, I would say the licence you paid for would trump that.

I suspect you would not be acting legally to reproduce it, and accordingly it would not be ethical to do so.

Over and above that, the merits of code written as a custom tag in 2002 that does anything to do with regexes would be dubious. I would say the act of encouraging people to use such code would, itself, be unethical. It’s almost certainly not how whatever it is doing should be done these days.

Conclusion: don’t do it.


That was my general feeling…and why I asked. It is just a plain text function but I do not have a copy of the license any more so I don’t really know what the terms it was released under.

I may look at rewriting it…or not. Works for what I need.

More info on this CF_ReExtract Tag is accessible via

I think that refind, refindnocase (and jsoup & Ben Nadel’s JRegEx library) can perform many of the demonstrated tasks today.


I would second the sentiments expressed by people here.
Since you have a license it would not be advisable to publish without permission.

However, an interesting blog-post may be how the functionality might be recreated today via RegEx or similar tools. You can create a simple library and publish it instead.

Just my 2,