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Re: Licensing question about the BSD

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Licensing question about the BSD
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 14:37:53 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> [...]
>> Gifts
> I hear that (plonked) GNUtian dak (still***) seems to be unaware that 
> "attached conditions" for downloads (I mean electronic distribution) 
> become binding only via affirmative action on part of recipient. 
> Territorial hints aside for a moment, he might (finally) want to read 
> Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp.
> <quote>
> unlike the user of Netscape Navigator or other click-wrap or shrink-
> wrap licensees, the individual obtaining SmartDownload is not made 
> aware that he is entering into a contract. SmartDownload is available 
> from Netscape's web site free of charge. Before downloading the
> software, the user need not view any license agreement terms or even 
> any reference to a license agreement, and need not do anything to 
> manifest assent to such a license agreement other than actually 
> taking possession of the product. From the user's vantage point, 
> SmartDownload could be analogized to a free neighborhood newspaper, 
> readily obtained from a sidewalk box or supermarket counter without 
> any exchange with a seller or vender. It is there for the taking.

The newspaper is, but not its contents.  You may not take parts of it
and reprint and reproduce them.

And if you think you can circumvent the reprinting permission by
taking hold of a few cubic feet of actual copies, then cutting and
pasting from them by a mechanical process, I very much doubt that the
nominal possession of the physical copies will save you from having to
obtain the copyright holders' permission for the resulting

There is a reason that the law is not interpreted by computers, but by
humans.  Circumvention sounds like a good idea until you get a judge

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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