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Re: Did I finally figure out the rationale?

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: Did I finally figure out the rationale?
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 15:10:29 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.99 (gnu/linux)

> Now most software "licenses" purport not at all to be licenses, namely
> permissions for doing something.  Instead they purport to be contracts:
> that is why you have to click "I agree" and similar stuff.  In that case,
> a legal defense can actually be that you can't enter into a contract by
> clicking on a button on some screen.

An important point to emphasize here is that under US law the legal owner
of a copy of a piece of software has all the authority he needs to use that
software.  No license is required.  The Microsoft EULA is not a license
granting rights you would not have otherwise had.  It is a contract in
which Microsoft agrees to sell you a copy of the work on the condition that
you give up some of the rights you would have had absent the EULA.  The
GPL, on the other hand, is a unilateral grant of rights.  It grants you
permission to do things you would not be allowed to do in its absence
without requiring you to give up any you would have did you not accept it.
You need not accept the GPL to use the software.
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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