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Re: OpenCascade license opinion

Francesco Poli wrote:
> On the other hand, maybe the Open Cascade license counts as an
> agreement, since the copyright holder says that you have to accept
> the license in order to download the software (i.e.: in order to become
> a lawful acquirer).  Then, after you accepted the license, you are bound
> to comply with it even if you only want to use the software (without
> redistributing, modifying, and so forth...).

Well, if you agree to a license and only then download the software,
your actions regarding the software are regulated by the software.
That's then your choice, just like it could be your choice to sign
a nondisclosure agreement which would force you to remain silent
on certain things.

The interesting question is when and how you agree to a license. If
the license is in the tarball, I don't think that downloading the
tarball counts as acceptance. You need to be able to read the license
before you can agree to it. If someone makes you go through a clickwrap
construct, then you're bound to the license.

If someone says "this software is GPLv2; click here to download" I
am not entirely sure if I agree to GPLv2 when I click there to download.

> Yes, because here no one said that I have to accept the GPL in order to
> download the program.  As a consequence, I can be a lawful acquirer
> without having to accept the license: at that point, I can exercise my
> lawful acquirer rights, being in absense of any agreement to the
> contrary.

Don't forget to read John Halton's contributions to this thread.

If the phrase "lawful acquirer" is interpreted as "someone who acquires 
the software in such a way that they have the right to use it", then
you only become a lawful acquirer after accepting the license.

(I'm still not entirely convinced this is the correct interpretation,
as it significantly reduces the value of the article, but it is 
certainly a sensible interpretation)

> But maybe the following one, as well: the above reasoning is an attempt
> to better understand things and should not (yet) be taken as a set of
> conclusive statements on the subject.

This is law; there's no such thing as a conclusive statement here.


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

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