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Bug#690495: Prohibit click-through licenses or disclaimers

On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:39:03AM +0200, Bill Allombert wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 03:41:54PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:08:18AM +0200, Sune Vuorela wrote:
> > > What's next? prohibiting 'tip of the day' kind of dialogs? First run wizards? 
> > > Or warnings that this is a dangerous/experimental/developer/debugging tool 
> > > that might eat your dog if you aren't careful?
> > 
> > I don't intend this as a slippery slope; I very specifically want to
> > cover the types of annoyances mentioned in the above paragraph, which
> > almost no software in Debian actually includes.  See the transmission
> > bug I linked to in the original bug submission.
> > 
> > If you installed something from Debian main, I think you'd find it
> > rather upsetting to run that software and get a prompt saying "By
> > running this software, you agree that ..." with an "I Agree" button.
> > This suggested policy change tries to cover cases like that; nothing
> > more.
> I agree.

I don't.  I'm with Sune Vuorela on this.

> I think the consensus in Debian is

I don't see such consensus.

> that such click-through agreement
> have no legal basis

Not true in general.

> (at least as far as Debian main is concerned)

Main or not does not matter for the legal basis.

> so they are
> are best misleading,

Some click-through agreements are not misleading at all.

> so we should fix them by removing the misleading part
> (e.g. by making it a simple disclaimer).

Debian should decide case by case.

> If upstream believe that doing so is creating liability for them, then we should
> question whether upstream is comfortable with the right to distribute modified 
> version in the first place.

I guess we should all do what we feel comfortable with.

> Debian should not be an agent in propagating the myth of enforceability of 
> click-through agreement in general

Debian should not start a myth of the opposite.

> and in particular when they can be 
> contrary to DFSG 6. (No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor) and
> 7. (Distribution of License):
>     7. Distribution of License
>        The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the
>        program is redistributed without the need for execution of an
>        additional license by those parties.
> The wording "By running this software, you agree that ..." is very close
> to the execution of an additional license.

Then you admit that it may have legal effect. :-)

All depends on the shown text.

For example, the click-through disclaimer quoted by Paul on bug 689095 simply
reflects reality/truth, as Paul explained well.  I see no conflict with the
DFSG.  It is, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable to not remove this
click-through disclaimer.  I'm not saying that Debian should preserve all
click-through messages.  I'm just saying that each case should be looked at
separately, without general rule in Debian about click-through messages.

So I suggest to close bug 690495 without modification to debian-policy.


Bart Martens

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