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Re: UnrealIRCd License (Click-Through issue)

Mika Fischer <mf@debian.org>:

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

I'm not really sure what it means to make a "no warranty" clause
"legally binding". If you are trying to avoid getting sued then you
might be better off if you make a sincere effort to inform users of
the potential risks rather than rely on some legal gobbledygook to
give you magical protection. I don't know which jurisdictions you're
interested in, but I've been told that disclaimers don't help much
under German law, for example.[*]

Common sense says that it is more useful to warn people in ordinary
natural language of the real risks specific to a particular product
rather than attach the same legalese that nobody reads to every
product. Remember, also, that users may be children, who don't
understand legalese and cannot make a contract with you.

> In order to continue with the download and installation of UnrealIRCd
> you must accept the following license agreement:
> [Full copy of GPL]

Which includes, presumably, the following words:

  5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it.

> 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
> software.

Yes, but if you download a program, are you copying it, or is the web
site copying it, or both? I rather suspect that if you can obtain the
data by following a URL (even one containing the string "&accept=yes")
then it might be the web site that is copying, as someone can always
claim to have obtained the data by following a URL they saw in IRC
rather than by filling in your form. I'm just speculating here.


[*] Still, it's funny how German signs tend to use the word "verboten"
where a British sign would use the word "danger". I rather like this
style of sign as I once saw on a country walk in England: "Danger.
Uncleared military target area. Don't touch anything. It might explode
and kill you."

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