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

Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 14:56:54 +0200 Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> > 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.

I agree. But Larry Rosen obviously feels differently. I guess he
wants both parties to be bound by the license terms, and that the
license itself should be carefully written to make sure it does not
give up any freedoms.

> > 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).

I think it's a part of the GPL and not just a declaration about a
factual situation. I wonder what warranties I could claim if I
do not accept the license. The software was legally distributed
to me, and that gives me some entitlements under copyright law.

> 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.

I'm not even sure if the issue of warranties is relevant to
freedom of software. Even without any warranty you can always use,
modify and distribute the software.

And if it breaks, not only do you get to keep the pieces,
you get to fix it!


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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