a proposed change to the OSD

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sun Oct 27 06:13:17 UTC 2002

John Cowan writes:
 > Russell Nelson scripsit:
 > > How about this legal theory instead
 > > of click-wrap: you got the software for free.  If you continue to use
 > > it, it is because you agree with the terms under which the software is
 > > offered.  If ever you disagree, you have simply to delete the
 > > software.
 > You could very well claim that you did not know the terms, because you had
 > no notice of them.

Well, let's consider the cases:

1) You want to make a derivative work.  In order to do that, you must
have a license.  If you claim not to know the terms of the license,
then you're saying that you *meant* to infringe the copyright because
of your indifference to the license terms.  This is the law of the
land.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

2) You want to sue someone because their software harmed you.  In
order to plausibly claim that you did not know the terms of the
software (and the fact that the warranty was denied), you have to
claim that you thought the software was warrantied in spite of the
fact that NO software is EVER warrantied, and EVERY software license
disclaims warranty.  That demands of level of ignorance that begs

3) You want to merely use or modify the software.  Since this software
is OSI Certified Open Source software, you know that no license can
restrict you.  Therefore there is no point in reading the license, as
a mere user of the software.

-russ nelson              http://russnelson.com |
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