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Re: Contracts & Usage (was Re: FilterProxy and DFSG)

On Tue, Mar 13, 2001 at 10:01:39AM -0600, Bob McElrath wrote:
> Well, ignoring the legality of the license (I know of no case where an
> EULA was challenged in court, and I know of no case where the GPL was
> challenged in court).  I agree EULA's should be unenforcable according
> to contract law, however, I would be very surprised to see one
> overturned in court.  The entire software industry is based on them.
> These guys have pools full of shar^H^H^H^Hlaywers to write these things,
> so someone must think they're enforcable.

Plenty of people think they are enforceable, but plenty don't as
well.  And, as it happens, most of the US Circuit Court judges who
have heard cases on it fall into the latter category.  For some more
info on this, see http://cr.yp.to/softwarelaw.html

> From everyone's arguments, It would appear that what I have described is
> possible.  That is, adding usage restrictions through a click-wrap
> license.  The exchange is (2 above): the software for usage rights; 
> the offer and acceptance (1 above) would have to be some kind of "read
> this license and click 'I agree'" that so many web sites use to let you
> download software.
> It would appear, however, that causing this new license to propegate to
> derived works would be impossible, since then it would conflict with the
> GPL.  It would be a condition on copyright, which someone pointed out,
> is considered legally an additional term in the GPL, which would violate
> clause 6 "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
> exercise of the rights granted herein".
> One could always take the source for the click-wrap licensed software,
> change one line, and start redistributing it.  (indeed, I don't think
> changing it is even necessary under the GPL).

Actually, you can license your program however you want, and if you
specify that your license overrides the GPL, then all subsequent users
have to use your license.  

But in order for it to have any legal validity, you do need to have a
little click-here-to-agree thing before the user uses the program.  
sam th --- sam@uchicago.edu --- http://www.abisource.com/~sam/
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