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Re: Auto-acceptance of license by download a problem for 'main'?

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 03:42:32PM -0400, Michael Hanke wrote:
> Dear -legal,

> I'm currently looking into packaging a software with a license that has
> the following clause:

> | Your contribution of software and/or data to XXXX (including prior
> | to the date of the first publication of this Agreement, each a
> | "Contribution") and/or downloading, copying, modifying, displaying,
> | distributing or use of any software and/or data from XXXX
> | (collectively, the "Software") constitutes acceptance of all of the
> | terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you do not agree to such
> | terms and conditions, you have no right to contribute your
> | Contribution, or to download, copy, modify, display, distribute or use
> | the Software.

> I had some concerns about the fact the users of such package would
> automatically agree to all conditions in that license even before they
> get to see it on there system. However, apparently this is not a problem for
> inclusion of such package into main -- this conclusion is based on the
> fact that the slicer package also uses exactly this style of license:

> http://packages.debian.org/changelogs/pool/main/s/slicer/slicer_3.6.3~svn16075-2/slicer.copyright

> I assume that this is OK, because the rest of the license only imposes
> DFSG-compliant constraints.

> Is that correct?

If this were an *actual* EULA, where the user had to read and accept the
license in order to gain access to the work, it would be a DFSG problem.  In
the case of slicer, nothing in the upstream license requires the distributor
to impose such an EULA on the user, so no one has to accept the license as a
condition of using the software in Debian and the default rights under
copyright apply.

As long as the license of your software is similar, where the EULA claims
are trivially circumventable by the maintainer, this should also be fine.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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