Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Carol A. Kunze ckunze at
Wed Aug 14 15:58:45 UTC 2002

Rod Dixon wrote:

> I want to summarize what we have discussed on click-wrap because the issue
> is significant from the standpoint of the legal standing of open source
> licenses, and so I can include proposed responses in our research project on
> the OSD.
> It is my understanding that the issue initially involved the approval of a
> license, not a change to the OSD. The discussion of click-wrap then
> considered whether the fact that adding indicia of mutual assent to website
> agreements like open source licenses (e.g., a mouse click from the user)
> might have adverse implications for the position that open source licenses
> are "non-contractual" licenses. There was also some discussion concerning
> whether click-wrap conditions imposed on downstream or sub-licensees is
> practical (it may be difficult to implement). Finally, some raised the
> question whether the click-wrap condition is doomed to failure in cases
> where distribution is packaged with multiple programs carrying distinct
> licenses.
> Is this a fair summary?
> Rod

This is very helpful.   I would add to this list of issues the consequences of
requiring distributors/programmers to enter into complex agreements which you
need a lawyer to fully comprehend.


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