Manifestation of Assent

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Wed Oct 30 05:46:29 UTC 2002

> From: Noah Levitt [mailto:nlevitt at] On 
> In your opinion, would the act of distributing a piece of
> (say) GPL software or a derivative of it be sufficient to 
> indicate assent, assuming that the distributor in question 
> obtained the software by downloading a source tarball via 
> ftp, without click-wrap, and that the tarball had a file 
> called COPYING with the full text of the GPL?

The GPL folks think it is sufficient.  I don't agree, but I'm not a
judge nor am I your lawyer.  :-)  

If the distributor was a large company with a fleet of lawyers, however,
a court might determine that they must have known that they were using
licensed code when they created their distribution.  

Please note that the Open Software License provides a warranty from the
Licensor that he is only distributing code for which he has a license or
owns the copyright.  I at least allow a breach of warranty suit if the
distributor plays that game.

/Larry Rosen

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