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Re: EllisLab, Inc. CodeIgniter license

On Wednesday 29 October 2008 06:45:19 pm Ben Finney wrote:
> Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> writes:
> > On Wed, 29 Oct 2008 21:08:54 +0100 Carl Fürstenberg wrote:
> > > This license is a legal agreement between you and EllisLab Inc.
> > > for the use of CodeIgniter Software (the "Software"). By obtaining
> > > the Software you agree to comply with the terms and conditions of
> > > this license.
> > 
> > I don't particularly love licenses that claim they must be agreed
> > upon just to *obtain* the Software.
> Indeed. I don't know of any jurisdictions where these grasping clauses
> are enforcible; one can't be held to an “agreement” that one had no
> option to view or negotiate before the stated condition occurs.

Sure they can. If you don't agree to the terms of the license, then you don't have the right to have a copy of the work. In fact, you didn't even have the right to make the copy in the first place. Now, I'm not claiming you can agree to something you haven't seen, but if you DO NOT agree, then you don't have the right to have it in the first place, and so at a minmum a rights's holder can enforce their right to deny you a copy. Francesco says he doesn't like licenses that require you to agree before you *obtain*... but one has to have permission to get the copy right from the get-go.

> It's best for the clause to simply be removed, since AFAIK what it
> says simply isn't true.
> > I think downloading and using the Software should be unrestricted,
> > while the license should kick in only when one wants to copy or
> > redistribute, with or without modification.
> More fundamentally, the license should *not* be an “agreement” at
> all; it should be a unilateral grant of license. The copyright holder
> by default has a massive amount of power over the work, and the
> license is supposed to be granting some of that to the recipient.

General consensus among my law school profs was that even the GPL is not a unilateral grant of license. You've got a warranty disclaimer and a limitations on liability. That's something the recipient of the software must give up, and thus it is an exchange and thus it is.... a contract.

But, yeah... the license is problematic at best on account of the points Francesco made and the prevailing interpretation of the DSFG.


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