I would argue that this question: "Is ISO 32000-2:2017 (pdf-2.0) non-free and non-open format?" is off topic because it's not "about computer software within the scope defined in the help center". I think saw similar questions in the past that has been closed or moved to other communities for the very reason.

In this case I think the question in it's current form it's more applicable in a community about legal question (or maybe software development).

Even if the question would be rephrased to a specific problem like "is it legal to use software that creates PDFs 2.0 etc." I would still argue, this is a question for a different domain then superuser.

Should I vote to close or am I completely off track here? And if so why?

  • See: opensource.stackexchange.com Oct 11, 2018 at 15:37
  • @allquixotic meaning it should be moved to opensource stack exchange?
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 15:39
  • It can't be closed because it has an open bounty
    – Burgi
    Oct 11, 2018 at 15:47
  • @Burgi Of course I research that before asking the question this answer says it can be closed (at least by "diamond mods") unless that changed.
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 15:51
  • 4
    1. I agree. This seems like more of a legal or business question. 2. I can't believe the OP put up a bounty to get an answer.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 11, 2018 at 16:22
  • @fixer1234 I found it rather puzzling that our highest ranking member decided to answer it instead of mentioning at all that the question is off topic. Seems kind of "immoral" ; )
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 16:29
  • 1
    Off-topic may be in the eye of the beholder. However, you posted this question here, so clearly, you do think it's off-topic. And yet you posted an answer, too. Just sayin'. (isn't there some expression about glass houses or pots and kettles, or something?) :-)
    – fixer1234
    Oct 11, 2018 at 16:52
  • @fixer1234 hey, I always step up when it comes to throwing the first stone :'D (and just in case it stays open/on superuser... I'm still trying to achieve my 2000 reps ;)
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 16:59
  • @fixer1234 no seriously, I wasn't sure if I should write an answer or flag it, so I thought I should give the benefit of the doubt to the OP, but I'll flag it now as well (even though the bounty might be lost).
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 17:04
  • Until it's closed, you can't be sure it's off-topic. The highest rep user seems to think it's not off-topic. If it remains open, it's an opportunity to help (and have a shot at the bounty), and an answer can always be deleted. So why not answer? OK, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)
    – fixer1234
    Oct 11, 2018 at 17:30
  • 2
    @Albin - The user in question, will answer any question if a bounty is offered. Does not mean the question is within scope here at Superuser. They have been told that they shouldn't answer questions that are out of scope, just because a bounty is offered, and that all rules still apply to questions with a bounty. Any event I also agree that the question is out of scope.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 11, 2018 at 17:49
  • @Ramhound thanks for the insight. By now I flagged this question (even though I gave an answer myself), I'm curious how this will play out.
    – Albin
    Oct 11, 2018 at 18:18
  • Current scores on answers: highest rep user: 0, Albin: 3. Draw your own conclusion. :-)
    – fixer1234
    Oct 12, 2018 at 4:31
  • @fixer1234 and the question has been closed as well.
    – Albin
    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:26
  • @Albin, see, your instincts were right.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 12, 2018 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


I would argue that this question: "Is ISO 32000-2:2017 (pdf-2.0) non-free and non-open format?" is off-topic because it's not "about computer software within the scope defined in the help center".

I would agree that a question, asking if a specific ISO standard, is a paid non-open format is out of scope. There are multiple reasons for that conclusion.

The first reason is that people will disagree with the definition of "non-free" and "non-open", so you are going to get multiple competing answers. While that by itself isn't a bad thing, there is a possibility, they will contradict one another. In other words, the question as it's currently written is going to encourage highly opinionated answers.

The second reason is that the author has stated a good deal of opinion in their own question, due to the way the question is currently written. It is extremely negative towards the standard they are asking about. While a little option is welcome, the question is written in such a way, where they already expect an answer to validate their opinion about the standard. When questions are written in such a way, they encourage answers written in the same tone, and those answers are often highly opinionated.

However, I do believe this question could be improved, so it was on-topic. However, any changes I would make would change the ton and the words the author used. The improvements would have to come from the author, narrowing down their question, into a very specific focus. It would have to be about the current license itself.

I think saw similar questions in the past that have been closed or moved to other communities for the very reason.

Finding similar questions closed, is a good guide, to determine if something is out of scope. However, not every question that is out of scope, is actually closed. So everyone must do their part in identifying if a question is out of scope, by voting to close the question, or flagging the question for moderator attention.

Should I vote to close or am I completely off track here?

The question currently has a bounty, one that was recently offered, so only a moderator can close the question by invalidating the bounty. This is only done when a bounty is offered on a question, that would otherwise be closed by the community, and is an exception to the rule with regards to bounties not being refunded.

And if so why?

You should flag the question for a moderator's attention, for the reasons you indicated, this is the reason we have moderators. If the question didn't have a bounty, I would say vote to close the question or flag it to be closed. If the community didn't agree with you, then the question remains open, if the community does agree with you then the question is closed.

Either way, the proper course of action will happen, which is something everyone wants.

  • 1
    @TRiG - I don't understand your comment. If something is free it does not have a monetary cost. If something is paid then it has a monetary cost. libre is Spanish for Free. While gratis literally means free. Which is the reason the term non-free is a confusing term in my opinion.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 17, 2018 at 16:04
  • @TRiG - We will have to respectfully disagree.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 17, 2018 at 18:43

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