'Browse-wrap' licenses invalid

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Sat Jul 7 23:39:31 UTC 2001

On Saturday 07 July 2001 05:37 pm, Jimmy Wales wrote:

> If I'm right, then a decision of this type is not harmful to open
> source licenses (generally), because they simply grant additional
> rights to the end user, rather than attempt to restrict beyond copyright.

Generally speaking, you're correct. But how the author *interprets* copyright 
law is significant. For example, the GPL regulates derivative works, which is 
perfectly reasonable. But the FSF interprets "derivative" in a way that might 
not be correct. (specifically with regards to distributing orginal source 
code that is meant to be linked by the user to GPL code).

The concept of assent has been slowly eroded over the past thirty years by 
the software industry, so that I am glad that at least one judge put his foot 
down and said enough is enough!

Imagine if other agreements in life worked the same way as software licenses. 
"By entering into your new home, you agree to follow all terms and conditions 
listed in the CC&R located on the back wall of the hall closet", written on 
the CC&R itself...

David Johnson

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