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Re: Academic Free License 2.1 -- free or not?



On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 14:56:54 +0200 Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:

> > OK, but both parties have to agree to exclude it: so this license
> > smells more like a common-law-contract, rather than a unilateral
> > grant. The licensee has to give up the possibility to have the
> > Convention applied, in order to obtain the rights attached to this
> > `license'.
> 
> You're right. The license is intended to be a common-law
> contract. Hence the phrases about assent. So the idea is that the
> licensee has agreed to everything in the license.

Being a common-law-contract is troublesome, for the licensee could
result in having given up a freedom that he/she had before accepting the
contract. Even if the triggering clause is subtle and we don't notice
the issue.
With a unilateral license grant, we are guaranteed that no pre-existing
right can disappear upon the act of copying, distributing or modifying
and distributing...

> 
> But I'm not sure if giving up the benefits of this convention
> is a reason to make the license non-free.

As I said, if the Convention we are talking about is really intended to
apply only to matter (and not to information), the licensee probably
looses no rights in accepting to exclude its application...

> When accepting the terms
> of the GPL, I also must give up certain rights about warranties that
> I normally expect to have.

I didn't see that way: I saw the disclaimer of warranty as a declaration
(valid even if I don't accept the license and I merely use the piece of
software without copying, distributing or modifying it).
If the law says the warranty *may* be disclaimed and the software has
this disclaimer attached, I'm warned that there is no warranty: I loose
no right in accepting the license, as I didn't have any such right in
the first place.

> 
> Sorry about the cc.

Don't worry!  :)
That was no real problem (only a bit of surprise in seeing a
debian-legal message pop up in my inbox, rather than being automatically
moved to the appropriate folder...).


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  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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