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Re: Open source licenses are /actually/ contracts?!?

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Open source licenses are /actually/ contracts?!?
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 12:40:09 +0200

Tim Tyler wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > Tim Tyler wrote:
> >> *If* the user agreed to a contract by simply copying,
> >> the world would be full of court cases where
> >> SlimeSoft had included in the small print of its
> >> license agreement:
> >>
> >> "And by the act of copying this software, you hereby
> >>   agree to sell all your worldly goods and deposit the
> >>   proceeds in swiss bank account #xxxxxxxx."
> >>
> >> Users do not agree to *anything* by the act of
> >> copying something.  The worst that can happen
> >> is that they can subsequently be sued for copyright
> >> violation - since the user can simply claim that they
> >> never bothered to read the license. [...]
> >
> > Suppose that value of "your worldly goods" is less than damages for
> > copyright infringement. Why wouldn't you bring such license as a
> > defense to claim of copyright infringement? I certainly would.
> Right - but suppose that things are the other way around -
> and that SlimeSoft has to sue for copyright violation, and
> then live with whatever the court awards them for this
> evidently-terrible crime.

Feel free to disclaim to be a party to license contract and tell 
the court that by taking action(s) reserved to copyright owners 
you were willfully infringing copyright instead of assenting to 
contract. Your choice.


"The revolution might take significantly longer than anticipated."

                                     -- The GNU Monk Harald Welte

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