Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

David Johnson david at
Wed Aug 14 06:30:42 UTC 2002

On Tuesday 13 August 2002 10:43 pm, Lawrence E. Rosen wrote:

> Whatever else open source licenses do, they do not explicitly make a
> licensee the "owner of a copy."  To transfer ownership requires a
> contract; a mere license won't do.

What about the gift of a copy of the software, as in a download at the 
author's invitation? The transferal of property may require a contract, but 
that contract can be as informal as "here, take this."

> Regardless of this confusing point, why does this make click-wrap
> "problematic"?

If the user has the legal right to use or install the software, then the 
exercise of that right cannot be used to indicate license acceptance. 
Anything else would be legal blackmail. Which in fact is how I view many of 
these newfangled EULA's.

David Johnson
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