Query on a P2P EULA

Mahesh T Pai paivakil at vsnl.net
Thu Aug 29 07:37:57 UTC 2002

Seth Johnson wrote:

> The guts of it is: Can an open source EULA exclude certain parties and uses?

There is no such thing as a EULA in OSS.  If it is opensource, there is no
distinction between End User and a developer.

The term End User in a EULA comes from the law of copyrights.  The makers of
closed source software ( aka 'proprietary' ) provide source code to a select
few, like, let us say, developer of a operating system revealing the source code
to the guys creating applications for the operating system.  Thus, proprietary
code is sometimes released under a dual licensing.  TO distinguish between the
different licencees who receive the software different licensing terms, the
industry (rather, its proprietary section) uses the term EULA.  Typically, under
the EULA, you are prohibited from redistribution, and reverse engineering.
There is of course, the disclaimer clause.

In the other kind of licensing agreement, which we may call the non-EU LA,
probably the source or its parts are provided, under conditions of non-disclosure.

It should be therefore clear that the opensource community, which insists on
revealing the source code, and zealously protects the right to modify the
sources, has no need to include the EU-LA in its dictionary.  There is only one
kind of license.

> * Encrypt the source and binary tarballs * Provide a utility which can
> decrypt the tarballs, given the correct decryption key * Provide another
> utility which provides the decryption key, upon the user accepting a
> 'click-wrap' EULA

That does not qualify as open source.

> My question is - would this scheme have any prospects of standing up in
> court? Could this prove effective in protecting me from personal liability
> from some people's usage of the software?"

Get a lawyer.  This is no place for free legal advise.

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