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Re: EULAs and the DFSG

On Thu, Dec 05, 2002 at 07:20:47PM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:

> Ah. I see your confusion now. You really can't legally use the
> software without accepting the license, but the GPL imposes no
> conditions upon your acceptance of paragraph 0 which grants you usage
> rights. You could call this paragraph a "EULA", if you really wanted
> to, but there's little point in doing so.

> > This is very different from EULAs because with them the end user gets
> > *less* rights that normally given by copyright

> The rights normally given by copyright are virtually nil; you have the
> right to quote it for critical purposes and so on, but not the right
> to use it. A "EULA" generally grants you the right to use it.

Um, *no*.  There are no use rights that are traditionally reserved under
copyright law; copyright only addresses copying, modification, and
distribution.  Use of the copyrighted work, once you have legally
obtained a copy of it, is implicitly permitted.

EULAs exist in order to give copyright holders *more* power than is
accorded them by copyright alone.  This is why they all take the form of
a click-through or shrink-wrap agreement that the user must *agree* to:
without a mechanism requiring the user to agree to the EULA, it has no
legal force (and sometimes not much even if there is such a mechanism).

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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