Re: contracts vs. licenses, OSI, and Debian (was: The QPL licence)
On Wed, Apr 28, 2004 at 05:41:23PM +0530, Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> The GNU/GPL, OTOH, does not impose an obligation on *use*. Obviously,
> the FSF does not require it to be `accepted'. The policy of certain
> package installation software, (typically on non-free platforms)
> insisting on the display of licenses (even in case of the GPL) and
> asking the user to accept them, is therefore, IMHO inappropriate.
It seems like a nul op. The user doesn't have to accept the GPL to be
permitted to use the software, but nothing in the license prevents an
installer from asking anyway.
I greatly dislike them, though, because they spread the false belief that
you do need to "accept" the GPL.
I also see a major general-case issue: if all of Debian used contract
licenses, would I have to be prompted to agree to licenses hundreds of
times, at least once for each package I'm installing? Unlike proprietary
operating systems, which typically have a single license to accept for
the entire package, free systems come from hundreds of copyright holders
and many varying licenses.
(Branden's link to some text from Rosen talks about how acceptance
doesn't have to be click-wrap, but I don't see how agreeing to several
hundred contracts can be made convenient without being dangerous.)