Re: Always free?
On Fri, Feb 07, 2003 at 11:47:05PM -0600, J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:
> Give http://www.ilaw.com.au/public/licencearticle.html a read. It was
> posted before, so I'm sorry for the repeat notice, but it is well written
> and clear in its opinion that contracts are better than licenses because
> licenses, where no consideration has been given (such as not paying for the
> Free Software), are revokable or alterable.
That doesn't say much:
"A software licence is not necessarily a contract. It can be, but that
requires a couple of preconditions to be satisfied.4 One of those
preconditions is the existence of consideration on both sides.
Consideration is a legal concept that simply means a quid-pro-quo, or
something of value given by each party in exchange for what the other
party provides. In the case of open source software, there usually isn't
anything provided by the licensee of the software (that is, the person
who uses it) back to the licensor (usually, the person who wrote it). As
a consequence of this lack of consideration there is no contract between
the licensee and licensor."
So, if there's no consideration, there's no contract, so a contract
can't be better when there's no consideration--there's can't be a
contract at all.