OSD compliant shareware

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Thu Nov 15 02:39:23 UTC 2001

On Wednesday 14 November 2001 12:06 pm, Humphreys, Noel wrote:

> Signatures are not always necessary for formation of contracts.  Software
> license arrangements fit comfortably within normal contract analysis
> patterns, and courts treat them that way.  It's a mistake to think courts
> would not treat the GPL and other open-source licenses as contracts.

Signatures aren't necessary for contracts, but some form of assent, 
agreement, etc. is necessary. There is no agreement unless both parties have 
agreed. This viewpoint may not be in accord with various court rulings, but 
it is in accord with the general definition of "contract" and "agreement".

If I have not agreed to a license then I have not agreed to the license. A 
tautology, but one so basic it's lost on the lawyer wannabees that write 
these licenses. Another tautology: without an agreement there is no 
agreement. Just because some license declares that I have agreed to it does 
not make it so.

Statements that say "by using this software you indicate your agreement..." 
are bogus. If that's the way that the law works then I can own the world 
tomorrow by simply publishing an advert in the New York Times.

"Click-through" agreements are a little trickier, but they are still replete 
with problems.

David Johnson
pgp public key on website
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