"source code" button

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Wed Mar 27 03:12:29 UTC 2002

On Tuesday 26 March 2002 12:35 pm, Marc Rauw wrote:

> "If the Software is intended to interact with users through a computer
> network You must ensure that all users are also able to receive the
> complete Source Code of the Software by means of a medium custorarily used
> for software interchange, without any charge beyond the costs of data
> transfer, and present a prominent notice to the users explaining this."

Here's the big problem with this clause: I can ignore it with impunity!

Unlike the proprietary world, the Open Source world does not impose contracts 
on unwilling participants. You are required to accept any Open Source license 
in order to use any Open Source software. You won't necessarily have the 
right to copy, distribute or modify the software, but you can still use it. 
That includes using it on a publicly accessible server.

In order for your clause to work, you must have the download mechanism a part 
of the software. That way, in order to bypass the download "button", you must 
first modify the software. And the recipient doesn't get the right to modify 
the software without first accepting the license. But you have to do this 
right or it won't work.

David Johnson
pgp public key on website
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