Question regarding certification
f.bastin at imperial.ac.uk
Thu Nov 11 17:51:38 UTC 2004
The question that a license is or is not a contract is complicated, and country dependent. In Belgium, law researchers from the CRID (http://www.crid.be, in French) have studied different open-source licenses. For them, with respect to the Belgian legislation, we have to interpret open-source licenses as contracts, even in the GPL case (there is differences of perception between latin legislation and american leglislation). The same should be true for most European Countries.
From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan at reutershealth.com]
Sent: 11 November 2004 14:48
To: Walter van Holst
Cc: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: Question regarding certification
Walter van Holst scripsit:
> I have a question regarding the certification process. Almost all OSS
> licenses assume that there doesn't exist a contract between the
> copyright holder and the end user of OSS since no consideration passes
Actually, that's questionable on several different grounds. Only the
GPL explicitly says it is not a contract; BSD-ish licenses aren't
either, but since they are basically just waivers, there's no need to
be (at least in common-law countries); most of the corporate licenses
as well as the AFL and OSL are explicitly contracts.
What's more, consideration is something courts can very easily find;
IMHO, consideration nowadays is as much a matter of form as seal.
Getting to use valuable software for nothing is probably plenty of
consideration. (IANAL, TINLA.)
> At the same time all OSS licenses do not give any warranty
> whatsoever and reduce liabilities in a rather rigorous manner.
Proprietary licenses do the same. Personally, I would have no problem
with an exception for malice.
> how complicated would the OSI certification process get?
As complicated as any stereotypical lawyer could hope for. :-)
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