Manifestation of Assent

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Wed Oct 30 05:29:28 UTC 2002

Larry Rosen wrote:
> >It may be that prominent notices in the product documentation will 
> >suffice to
> >ensure that knowledgeable users knew about and assented to 
> the licenses.
David Johnson wrote:
> Perhaps I'm not understanding the legal concept of "assent", 
> but how can a 
> mere notice constitute acceptance? Certainly it's evidence 
> that the user knew 
> about the license, but it seems to fall far short of evidence to any 
> manifestation of assent.

I agree, this is probably wishful thinking.  But there are members of
the open source community who have this wish, and are willing to take
the risk that a court will accept mere "notice" as assent.  I advise
them not to.

On the other hand, please note that I used the term "knowledgeable
users."  If this were an open source license in which IBM was the
licensee, I doubt they'd be able to argue that they didn't realize the
importance of the license terms for an important open source component
of one of their products.  Licensees with good lawyers won't take that
risk either.  


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