click once, accept all licenses.

Mahesh T Pai paivakil at
Sun Aug 11 16:19:47 UTC 2002

Hi! all.

As I was reviewing the various messages about the click wrap issue, this
suddenly dawned upon me.  May be the suggestions below may solve the
impasse / differences of opinion on the click wrap issue.

Any distro will contain several hundreds of packages, from several
sources, from several copyright holders. A "guesstimate" tells me that
about 85% of packages will be under the GNU GPL, about 10% under LGPL
and rest under their own licenses, mostly template based.  In most
cases, the 'other' licenses would be open source approved.   Even if not
open source certified, the license would be a shade of copy left.

Since all copy left licenses, whether open source certified or not
entitle the recipient of a package to redistribute (of course, subject
to conditions), the legal contract is between the distributor and the
end user.  That being so, is it not enough if (that is, if click wrap is
actually indispensable) there be as many click wraps as there are number
of different licenses in a distro?  

Thus, for example, let us say, the installer will display the GPL in a
click wrap form for all packages covered by the GPL and list the GPL
packages being installed and then, proceed to list the packages covered
by LGPL with the LGPL in click wrap form, then list the packages covered
by the 'foo' template and display the license, and so on.  Use of
licenses templates too will simplify the issue to some extent.

I believe that most of software forming core of any linux distro is
under one of the Open Source approved licenses, so there is no reason to
assume that the user will not agree to any one of the licenses. As a
matter of caution, we can add a splash screen, with or without a
"continue" button, (this needs to be debated) listing the * licenses *
with a notice that the user will have to accept all the licenses in
order to complete the installation.  Once the splash screen is
displayed, the installation should go on to display the actual license
and list the packages which would be installed under each license.

A variation of this theme would be to divide the packages under each
licenses as 'core' and 'non-core'.  The user should be given the option
of not installing the non-core software, with say,  check boxes.

This way, the user would still have to accept about five of six
click-wrap licenses.  This would be a better option than the omnibus
click wrap notice we have been debating for some time now.

Mahesh T Pai.

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