Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Russell Nelson nelson at
Sat Aug 3 03:13:46 UTC 2002

Brian Behlendorf writes:
 > I see a practical issue - if I install Debian from CD and fire up Mozilla,
 > I don't want to have to go through ten dozen different dialog boxes with

I don't like it any more than you do.  You're being asked to agree to
give up the right to any warranty.  From what various legal scholars
tell me, a non-contractual license (such as the GPL) cannot cause you
to give up your warranty rights.  Only a contract can do that.  Yes,
the law *is* an ass, and needs to be changed.  Until then, a warranty
disclaimer needs agreement.

 > Philosophically, I don't like the idea of someone being restricted
 > in what they can do once they have the software in their hands.

Agreed.  That's why I think we need to amend the OSD so that it
clearly states that a license must not restrict use, modification, or
redistribution of the software.

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