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Re: Mandatory click wraps trivially non-free

On Thursday 14 July 2005 12:56 am, Don Armstrong wrote:
> [Please retitle threads when appropriate... we've left the kde topic
> some time ago.]

Technically true...  but I'm still trying to make the argument that calling 
the GPL a "License Agreement" is neither non-free nor a violation of the GPL 
itself, as was the original bug's contention.  The click-wrap argument is 
just an offshoot of that original discussion.

> On Wed, 13 Jul 2005, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > 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.
> It's quite simple; I'm sure you would have come to it if you thought
> about possible use cases for GPLed software.
> Imagine a piece of software that mandated acceptance of the GPL that
> was designed to be used in a non-interactive fashion. Say it was a
> library (lets call it libc) that was being used by a program (apache)
> which is then called by a dynamic web software program (/.) now
> suddenly, the web program which calls this library through apache has
> to display the click wrap licence to the library which it is using to
> each and every user. Now lets imagine that this webpage is being
> displayed through an RSS feed in an entirely separate aggregator.
> Surely you can see that requiring the clickwrap license to be viewed
> by the user is a serious restriction both on modification (3) and a
> field of endeavor (7); especially as there's no "clickwrap license"
> over RSS protocol.

This story is compeling and tragic, but ultimately unconvincing.  The original 
downloader (slashdot) would be obliged to click on the 'I accept the GPL 
terms' because the original author's chose to put it in there.  But there is 
nothing stoping slashdot from ripping out the clickwrap before they put load 
it onto their system.  The question is not whether click-wraps are stupid or 
inefficient, but whether a particular distributer's decision to require 
actual manifestation of assent is anti-GPL / anti-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

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 ...Jump in
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