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Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia

On Mon, 08 Sep 2003, Steve Langasek wrote:
> There is nothing in the law that I've seen which prevents someone
> from authoring and distributing a piece of software on principles
> other than those governing leases; and no license that passes the
> DFSG could ever be predicated on a lease, given that modification and
> redistribution are essential freedoms. 

I don't really see an issue with a lease that grants the freedom to
redistribute and to modify. At least, I am awhere of no clause in
Contract Law prohibiting such a lease.

> Thus, they'd be treated differently under the law by virtue of the
> fact that they *are* different.

What I'm still missing is a tested mechanism besides a lease where we
can grant rights to use, modify, and redistribute subject to
conditions. I can't think of another way to frame such a license
besides the background of a contract or a lease. Perhaps I'm just not
seeing or understanding clearly, but so far no one who claims that
free software licenses are neither a lease nor a contract (at least in
the US) has explained what type of legal agreement they would be.

All the cases that I'm aware of apply the tests of a contract to

> Also, the UCITA has been happily rejected by a fair number of the
> states where it was originally proposed and is being disputed
> elsewhere, so it's not much of a precedent.

True. I was merely using it to point out the direction that statute
seems to be headed. There are clauses of UCITA that I really dislike,
and I'm glad it hasn't been made law everywhere. But it does embody a
substantial amount of current legal thought.

Don Armstrong

"People selling drug paraphernalia ... are as much a part of drug
trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide."
 -- John Brown, DEA Chief


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