click once, accept all licenses.

Carol A. Kunze ckunze at
Sun Aug 11 18:30:41 UTC 2002

I don't think this can work.   A third party - in this case the distributor
- cannot cause a contract to be entered into between two parties, one of
whom is not "present."

A developer can put a license in a program that will show up on the screen
and require clicking on "I agree" before installation.   The developer has
created the license, has developed and controlled the execution by the user,
and if the software is subsumed within a larger program as long the as
license still pops up when you start to install this module, I think a
contract can be created.

What is being suggested is that a distributor can come in and create the
execution mechanism (the umbrella contract), outside the control of the
developer.    This not only does not work, it would be very dangerous to
allow a third party distributor to be in charge of whether there is proper
agreement sufficient to disclaim the developer's warranty obligation.

In any event, this exercise is circular.  There is only contractual warranty
liability if there is a contract.   So this seems to be striving to create
the very contract that would give rise to the risk in the first place.
Mind, I don't know the law in India.


Mahesh T Pai wrote:

> 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.
> Regards,
> Mahesh T Pai.
> ________________________________________________________________________
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