Open Source Click-Wrap Notice

Brendan Hide brendan at
Tue Aug 13 09:39:52 UTC 2002


/Larry Rosen wrote

The judge wrote "This argument misses the point.  The question before me is whether the parties have first bound themselves to the contract.  If they have unequivocally agreed to be bound, the contract is enforceable whether or not they have read its terms."

Here's an alternative perspective for the click-wrap notice.
Sorry Larry, but I'm going to tear your notice to shreds.
All the modified lines have a "--" in front of them. Buttons are 
surrounded by "[[" and "]]". You could reincorporate everything I 
snipped out back into the main text but, for me anyway, short is sweet.


--By clicking on "I Agree" below, you indicate that you have
--read, understand and do agree with this notice[,] [and] do
--accept the licenses and warranty notices applicable to each
--software program included on this distribution[.][ as well
--as the warranty notice provided by the Distributor, XYZ.]

The software programs on this distribution are
protected by copyright in the United States
and other countries, and by international treaty,
--or by one or more patents. The installation, use,
--copying, modification, and distribution of these
--softwares may be prohibited by law unless you agree
to the applicable licenses.

--[[CANCEL]] [[I Agree]]

I think that, by including summaries about OSS practices in the notice, 
you are preventing people from feeling that they are obliged to read the 
applicable licenses (I know that this argument is probably inadmissable 
but I'm trying to read all sides of the coin). Here, instead of the 
licenses becoming contracts, a contract encompasses the licenses. If you 
click on I Accept, it does not mean that you are suddenly bound by all 
the licenses unless you actually use/modify/distribute the applicable 
software. Any download site can use a very similar notice, and the 
notice is generic enough that it isn't OSS-specific (not actually my 
intention ubt useful nevertheless). I suppose that an agreement (that 
the same contract must be provided to and accepted by any subsequent 
licensees) should also be included but I'm not the right person to put 
that paragraph together.

My 2c.

Brendan Hide
brendan at
Technical Writer
+27 83 448 3867

SA Computer Magazine
+27 21 715 7134

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