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Re: dpkg/license related proposal

On 01-Nov-99, 22:34 (CST), Amy Fong <uwd38znr@umail.furryterror.org> wrote: 
> What if it's not just going to be a few companies? What if other
> companies think that they can ask people to change licenses to suit
> their needs? What sort of a system are we going to end up with when
> corporate entities can simply walk in and make people modify licenses?

Luckily, corporate entities cannot simply walk in and make the copyright
holder change a license, not even in the US. They are free to ask, of
course, but if the owner says no, that's probably it. Agreed, it's not
likely that I'm going to spend the money to sue XYZ Inc., but I *would*
make it known far and wide that my license was being violated, which
would probably kill their product in the free software market.

> Admittedly making users read all licenses is probably an overkill but
> ideally, something should be done to prevent more company "screw ups".

As I said before, what will prevent screwups is public humiliation of
the first few offenders to raise corporate awareness. Corps don't care
about laws, what they care about is short term profits and their stock
price. Big nasty headlines in the trade press tend to drive both of
those down.

Forcing users to read each and every license is hardly going to make the
laywers more aware of the issues. Do you really think the people behind
Corel's beta agreement had ever even *logged into* a Linux system? I'd
lay odds (not huge, but something) that the actual developers *did*
raise the issues with the laywers, and were told "we'll take care of

Enough. I share your concern, but think your approach is completely
wrong. You need to be publicizing the issues and conflicts where the
people making the decisions will actually see/hear about them. Install
time is not it.


Steve Greenland <vmole@swbell.net>
(Please do not CC me on mail sent to this list; I subscribe to and read
every list I post to.)

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