GPL and LGPL question - legal

Matej Cepl Cepl at
Thu May 20 07:45:26 UTC 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Pat St. Jean [SMTP:psj at]
> Sent:	Thursday, May 20, 1999 12:15 AM
> To:	John Muller
> Cc:	license-discuss at
> Subject:	Re: GPL and LGPL question - legal
> Which brings up an interesting question: what are some other nations'
> stances on shrink wrap licenses?
	[MCepl]  I am a Czech lawyer, therefore I can answer only
concerning the Czech law (and CISG for general rules of executing
contract, notwithstanding the fact, that it doesn't apply here --
software is certainly not a thing, see §3(2) CISG; CISG is available on
Internet on URL:
<>). I am
afraid, that similliar issues are existing in other civil-law countries
as well. 

	The main problems with formation of contract are follwoing:

*	Under the Czech law (as well as under the CISG -- see §14(1)
CISG for comparsion, moreover, there is nothing equal to "unless" clause
in §14(2) in non-commercial contracts) the offer must be "addressed to
one or more specific persons". However, this is exactly not a case with
any licence posted on Internet.
*	See §18(2) CISGfor problem with acceptance, because there is not
acceptance effective unless offeror is notified about it (moreover,
there is no provision equivalent to §18(3) CISG, where acceptance by
conduct would be effectiver without notyfing the offeror). However, I do
not believe that any free license in standard free packages (e.g., a
stuff from, where would "indication of assesment" ever
reached the offeror. THerefore, in many cases there is no acceptance
effective at all (OTOH, in many cases, when I commence communication
with the author about his program usage, certainly he is notified, that
I am using the program and therefore I accepted his licence by conduct).

	Again, if there is anybody able to read a Czech :-), you can
read full-size analyzis of a two free licences (GNU/GPL & OP/L) on the
web page of our firm at <>.
Sorry, no English translation has be prepared yet.

							Have a nice day

Matthew Cepl  

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