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

UnrealIRCd License (Click-Through issue)

Hi, all!

[Full-quote for debian-legal]
[Please CC me and codemstr@ptd.net]

Though I no longer intend to package UnrealIRCd I would like to help the
developers in regard to the licensing issues.

The main issue for the developers is AFAIK the "no warranty" clause and
how to make it legally binding.

Here's the message:

* codemastr <codemstr@ptd.net> [2003-08-31 16:57]:
> A while ago you had asked about the UnrealIRCd license with regard to
> Debian. We have a new license that we intend to implement in the very near
> future. This new license is available at http://www.codemastr.com/EULA.html.
> I hope this new version will solve all problems with the original license.

This is basicaly the following:
In order to continue with the download and installation of UnrealIRCd
you must accept the following license agreement:

[Full copy of GPL]

The UnrealIRCd Team reserves the right to modify this agreement at
anytime as long as notice is given on the unrealircd.com mainpage at
least 24 hours before changes take effect. The new version will only
apply to new downloads; those who downloaded UnrealIRCd prior to the
changes will still be subject to the version of the EULA that was
available at the time of download. 

By installing, modifying, distributing, downloading, or otherwise using
the provided software you agree to be bound by this license agreement.
If you do not agree to any/all of the terms stated in this agreement
then must not accept this license.

And that seems OK to me. Although you can probably restrict yourself to

> As for the "click-through" license, there is a reason for this, in around
> 2000, the California Supreme Court (at least I believe it was the Supreme
> Court, I might be remembering wrong), made a decision that most "browse to"
> EULAs are not legally binding. The reason was, the user was not actually
> forced to accept the agreement. The way the judge made it sound, the user
> could say "I do not accept this agreement" and still download the software,
> because there was no actual "Do you accept yes/no" type of thing. Basically,
> the ruling said a "browse to" license is the digital equivilent of trying to
> tell someone they are bound by a contract they did not sign. The solution to
> this issue is a "click though" license which actually tells the user "click
> here to accept, and only then can you download" if "no" is clicked, then the
> download does not occur.  This decision has recently been upheld to some
> degree by other courts, in October of 2002, the Court of Appeals for the
> Second Circuit ruled against Netscape in regards to a license similar to
> this. I found the information at
> http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=2nd&navby=case&no=017860v2&exact=1
> An interpretation of this decision I found states:
> "In contrast to downloading programs such as [Netscape] Communicator,
> downloading SmartDownload is not accompanied by a clickwrap presentation,
> which requires a user to expressly manifest his or her assent to the terms
> of the license agreement before downloading a software program. Instead, a
> user must scroll down below the "Download" button to view licensing terms
> governing its use. The appellate court found that having selected to
> download the program, users were neither required to unambiguously manifest
> assent to the program's license agreement nor to view the license terms, or
> even become aware of their existence. After examining California case law
> and relevant law governing contract agreements, the appellate court held
> that the act of clicking a download button does not signify assent to a
> contract's terms if the consumer is not aware of the them."
> http://www.2000law.com/news_archive.htm
> Those court rulings basically make it sound as though if the license is not
> a "click through" license, then it isn't worth the proverbial paper it is
> written on.
> Any comments you or any of the Debian legal team might have would be
> welcomed.

I don't know much about licensing issues. As far as I understand it,
nobody has the right to copy, modify or redistibute your software
without a license to do so. Thus it doesn't make sense not to be bound
by a license agreement because then you don't have a right to copy the

I hope the debian-legal people can enlighten both of us. :)


Reply to: