GPL Issue

Cinly Ooi cinly.ooi at
Mon Sep 20 19:54:38 UTC 2010

Dear Shlomo,

On 20 September 2010 20:37, Shlomo Zalman Heigh <szh1 at> wrote:

> The GPL says that the user is not required to accept the license. If my
> user doesn't accept the license, and (I assume) he can still *use *the
> software without *distributing *it, if there is a bug that damages his
> computer, can he sue me for it? If so, is there a license that doesn't have
> this issue?

Well, if the user does not accept the license, he cannot use the software,
with this I mean he cannot do either of the two activities ('use' and
'distribute') you described. Period.

There is no get around it. It is a leave it or take it situation. Especially
true since GPL claims it is a copyright license subjected to copyright law,
not EULA which is subjected to contract laws.

Well, All licenses, including GPL has a boiler plate statement you find in
all license disclaiming liabilities. For GPL it is section 15 (Disclaimer of
Warranty), 16( Limitation of Liability and 17 (Interpretation of Sections 15
and 16).

Until someone got sued because he/she introduce a bug that damages others'
computer. We will not know where we legally stands on the issue of bug
damage, regardless of whether you are GPL or not.

Usual IANAL disclaimer.

Best Regards,
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