Open Source Click-Wrap Notice

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Wed Aug 7 11:41:33 UTC 2002

> Huh? I keep seeing this assumption that there is a law prohibiting the 
> installation and use of software, but I can't find any facts on the matter. Can
> anyone provide me with evidence that the author can prohibit the recipient from
> executing the software or its installer? What is the legal foundation for the
> author to claim the exclusive right of use?

You can't run most source code.  You must compile it, which is 
preparing a derivative work.  U.S. Title 17 section 106 says

   Sec. 106. - Exclusive rights in copyrighted works 

   Subject to sections 107 through 121, the owner of copyright under
   this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the

   (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords; 

   (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; 


Section 117 (a) has an exception, but I am not sure that
it is adequate to compile source code into a library or
even an executable.  Secondly, the exception applies only
if you are "an owner of a copy."

Sec. 117. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs 

 (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. - 

 Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an
 infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or
 authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer
 program provided: 


 that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in
 the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine
 and that it is used in no other manner, or 


 that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and
 that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued
 possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

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