Limits of Licenses

Justin Wells jread at
Mon Mar 27 04:49:28 UTC 2000

On Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:50:29PM -0500, John Cowan wrote:

> As list members know, I scream bloody murder any time anyone brings up
> the word "use".  Neithert the GPL nor the Copyright Act purport to
> limit use.

Can a copyright license demand that I stop using a work that I have acquired
lawfully if I later violate the license and infringe on the copyright? Can
it demand that I destroy my copy?

Many licenses include langaue insisting that you must cease all use of 
the software and/or destroy your copies of it if you violate the license
terms. I'm wondering if you can do that in a copyright license. 

Next question: 

What reason is there to believe that free software licenses are valid at 
all? If they really are contracts of adhesion, isn't that going to get 
them struck down right there? I thought there was some precedent for 
throwing out a contract, even if it's reasonable, just on the grounds 
that it was a contract of adhesion--and if you have even one objectionable
term, then you get into hot water. 

I'm not a lawyer so this is a sincere question--I don't know the answer
and I don't know if what I'm saying makes any legal sense.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list