Subject: Re: Interesting POV on free software licensing
From: (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 06:58:17 -0400 (EDT)

Karsten Self writes, quoting Robert Gomulkiewicz:
> > the mass market. Whether open source software will become a "next great
> > thing" that endures, only time will tell.  Licensing will be at the center of
> > its success or failure. Article 2B should provide a contract law regime that
> > allows revolutionaries like the open source hackers to succeed.
> The author is Senior corporate attorney to Microsoft Corporation, and
> Chairman of the UCC 2B Working Group of the Business Software Alliance.
> Who's he rooting for, and why?

He's rooting for UCITA, aka UCC 2B.

I think he is mistaken.  Under current law, buying a software product
from a store (given that the copyright owner is using the store to
distribute the software) gives you an implicit copyright license.  No
such implicit copyright license is usually available for free
software.  (You might argue that you get an implicit copyright license
for rpm if you buy Red Hat Linux, regardless of what the shrinkwrap
terms say.  But you certainly don't get an implicit copyright license
to TeX or gcc.)

He's confusing the voodoo "signal your acceptance of this license by
opening this box" with the GPL's "you needn't accept this license, but
nothing else gives you the right to use or distribute this software".

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Mon Oct 11 1999
29 days until the Internet stock bubble bursts on Monday, 1999-11-08.