[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Oracle 8i for Linux License Humor

On Tue, Jul 20, 1999 at 09:36:51PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> Brian Ristuccia <brianr@osiris.978.org> wrote:
> > I figured we could occasionally use a little laugh on this list, so have a
> > look at the following two URL's:
> > 
> > http://technet.oracle.com/tech/linux/ - Oracle's download page. Check out
> > the license textarea -- you can put any license you want in there before
> > clicking "I Accept" and Oracle still lets you download the software. 
> Actually, you can already do this with any html -- simply save a
> copy of the page, and edit it, maybe putting an href= in the base
> page.

Perhaps, but in the case you describe, you're not sending the other party a
copy of the contract which they can see before sending you the software.

> I think that just serves as a notice.  

If it was just a notice, it wouldn't be in an editable textarea, and it
wouldn't be sent back with the form when you click "I Accept"

> If they didn't explicitly
> grant you the right to change the license then you don't have
> copyright.

You don't need to own the copyright to negotiate a license with the
copyright holder. I always thought software licenses were like any other
contract -- if either party wants to make changes to the contract, they do
so in ink and then initial. If the other party agrees, they can sign too (or
provide the service, goods, etc). If they don't agree, then they can refuse
to sign or provide service/goods and no contract is made.

If Oracle doesn't want to be sending the software to people under different
terms, they should change their form handler to deny downloads when any
license other than their own is specified. It's quite possible that you
could just empty out that text box and have a free copy of Oracle with all
your fair use rights intact, including the right to reverse engineer and
patch the software to remove the 30 day expiration. Pasting in a BSD/XF86
type license woukd result in a copy you could share with your friends.
Pasting in the GPL (like I did for my example) would result in a copy you
couldn't distribute at all.

But this whole discussion is moot anyway, since the most you could grant
yourself through this loophole is unlimited use and copying of a crippled
version of proprietary, bloated (200+MB!) database package with no
support and no source code. Further discussion is beyond the scope of my
original intent (comic relief) and probably of little interest to
debian-legal subscribers and the Debian community in general.

Brian Ristuccia

Reply to: