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Re: UnrealIRCd License (Click-Through issue)

Mika Fischer <mika_fischer@gmx.net>:

> The whole point of my hypothetical example is that I don't accept the
> license and use the software nevertheless.
> How could the GPL then be of any help?

People don't have to accept the GPL unless they are redistributing. I
would guess that the GPL helps because, by including the disclaimer in
the licence and making permission to redistribute conditional on
including the licence, it shows that you have made a valiant effort
"to make certain that everyone understands that there is no warranty".

> But what does that mean for the case we're discussing?
> Is what you're saying esantially:
> 1) Click-Through or just GPL doesn't make a difference. 
> 2) The GPL no-warranty statement is useless because one does not have to
> agree to the license.
> ?

What I'm saying is that I'm not convinced that click-through is any
better than just putting a one-sentence warning with a reference to
the GPL, and the latter might even be better, as people are more
likely to read and understand the one-sentence warning than they are
to read and understand the GPL.

> 2) would seem strange to me because the same would be true about
> M$-EULAs and certainly someone would have sued...

I don't think EULAs have any validity as contracts. If I buy a
second-hand computer, how can I be bound by a document that even the
previous owner of the computer didn't sign? And even for the person
who clicks through, where is the consideration? Assuming it is even
possible for them to surrender their right to sue for damages, what is
the software publisher giving them in return? The right to use their
own property?

Anyway, you can also ask, if EULAs really work, why don't they use
them in cars? You could put a load of small print and the words "I
agree" next to the ignition. Brilliant. I should patent the idea.

> So the question basically remains: How can the UnrealIRCd team best
> disclaim warranty? Does a click-through license help with that?
> If not what about the rulings in my first mail?

The click-through licence probably doesn't hurt, but it might be
better to give a plaintext warning along the lines of: "This free
software is provided with no warranty. Download it and use it at your
own risk. See the <a>licence</a> for details."

However, if you want to be sure, it's best to ask a lawyer in the
jurisdictions where you own property ...

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