[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Bug#317359: kde: ..3'rd "Help"->"About $KDE-app" tab calls the GPL "License Agreement", ie; a contract.

On Wednesday 13 July 2005 10:32 pm, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 13, 2005 at 10:07:49PM -0700, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > I'm talking about copyright infringement.  Maybe I'm the only one?!  The
> > question is whether its "okay" to mandate acceptance of the GPL at
> > download. I am suggesting that you have to agree to it in order to avoid
> > copyright infringement.  Hence, if you have to agree the GPL to copy it
> > off the server in the first place, a "click-wrap" license is no more
> > non-free than just simply attacting the license as part of the COPYING
> > file.
> No, the question is whether it's free to mandate *explicit*, click-through
> acceptance of the GPL at (download, install, whatever) time.  (The question
> of whether it's acceptable to mandate agreement to a contract at all, and
> whether the GPL does so, is unrelated.)
> There's a world of difference between 1: requiring that a person agree to
> something, but allowing that agreement to be expressed implicitly, through
> conduct (eg. by doing something which only the license allows), and 2:
> requiring that a person (and all recipients of the program from that
> person, and so on) indicate his agreement by displaying the license and
> refusing to install unless a button is clicked.  #2 is what's in question,
> and requiring #2 is infinitely more invasive and problematic than #1.
> I don't know how you can keep claiming that #1 == #2; they have nothing
> in common.

I am so confused.  #1 allows a licensor to impose all manner of terms without 
giving actual notice to the licensee, whereas #2 at least gives the licensee 
a chance.  The warranty provisions are a great example.  The GPL rejects all 
implied warranties, but doesn't tell a licensee it does so unless they go to 
the trouble of reading the COPYING file.  How does displaying the license 
first and requiring folks say "yes, I understand" more problematic or 

Believe me, I understand the visceral reaction to click-wrap licenses.  I have 
had a lot of debates with law professors on the issue of whether click-wrap 
licenses are a "good thing" since they postpone term presentation until far 
after money has changed hands.  But no one has presented a cogent argument 
about how mandating that people actually agree to the terms of the GPL poses 
a threat to the DFSG.

Sean Kellogg
3rd Year - University of Washington School of Law
Graduate & Professional Student Senate Treasurer
UW Service & Activities Committee Interim Chair 
w: http://probonogeek.blogspot.com

So, let go
 ...Jump in
  ...Oh well, what you waiting for?
   ...it's all right
    ...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Reply to: