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Re: Eben was absent that day in law school

From: Rui Miguel Silva Seabra
Subject: Re: Eben was absent that day in law school
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 10:20:31 +0000

On Wed, 2006-02-22 at 14:19 +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> The court in ProCD held that a "shrinkwrap" software license, that 
> is, a license that accompanies software limiting its use, is an 
> effective contract under the UCC against anyone who receives the 
> terms of the license and uses the software. Id. at 1452. The court 
> also held that state enforcement of such contracts under the UCC 
> would not be preempted by the Copyright Act or 17 U.S.C. ยง 301. Id. 
> The GPL, like the shrinkwrap license in ProCD, is a license
> applicable to anyone who receives its terms and chooses to use it, 
> and by using it, accepts the terms under which the software was 
> offered. Id.
> ---------
> My, this is such a fun. Kudos to Wallace.

Lex... Lex... (Luthor?)

The GNU GPL has _ZERO_ clauses on use (running the program). So it is
not shrinkwrap. You can install and use any GPL'ed program without
agreeing to any license because:
        a) your copy is unilaterally authorized and legitimate
        b) there's a clause that explicitly tells you there's no use
        Clause 0:
                Activities other than copying, distribution and
                modification are not covered by this License; they are
                outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not
                restricted, and the output from the Program is covered
                only if its contents constitute a work based on the
                Program (independent of having been made by running the
                Program). Whether that is true depends on what the
                Program does.

But if you mean copying, distributing and/or modifying... then and only
then there's some restrictions you have to accept in order to be
authorized under Copyright Law.


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