A practical example of a click-wrap license

Ian Lance Taylor ian at airs.com
Mon Aug 5 19:55:30 UTC 2002

John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com> writes:

> Lawrence E. Rosen scripsit:
> > You've made an excellent suggestion.  Here's a possible wording of a
> > distribution click-wrap notice.  I do not consider this wording
> > authoritative or final and I encourage suggestions:
> Now, however, two versions of the program must exist: one that demands 
> confirmation on installation, one that exists as part of a distribution
> and doesn't.  The effort to make sure that the clickless version of the
> program doesn't leak out is going to be substantial.  

To me this seems like an easy technical problem.  Installation of RPM
or Debian package can indicate in the environment which licenses the
installer has already agreed to.  The environment variables will only
be set at system installation time or by knowledgeable users.

> In addition,
> distribution via tarball is going to become impossible (when do you
> demand the confirmation) despite the way that it is still the primary
> method of distributing source code.

FTP distribution becomes harder, but HTTP distribution only requires
forcing the user to go through a click-wrap page.

Incidentally, another approach is a program which displays a license
agreement the first time it is run, like older versions of Netscape.
This doesn't work well for lots of packages, but is somewhat workable
for large chunks--e.g., a clickwrap for FSF code, a clickwrap for the
kernel, a clickwrap for Gnome, etc.

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