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From "Mark Washeim" <>
Subject Re: Licenses (was Re: Image Serializers)
Date Thu, 13 Apr 2000 13:33:03 GMT
>> There is a _big_ difference between typical open source licenses, which
>> a set of permissions by the copyright owner, and typical shrinkwrap
>> which have a "by clicking here / opening this package you accept all
>> terms" clause. Certainly I would agree that a license that you cannot
>> until you have accepted it by opening the package, as happens with some
>> software bought in shops, is legally dubious. :-)
>No, this is not the case.
>You agree to the license by either using, modify or redistributing the
>software or parts of it. This means that you had to open the package,
>then you find a README file that points to the LICENSE file for legal
>This is not the problem. The problem is that such a license might well
>not mean anything from a legal point of view, even if it makes perfect
>sense for people.
>We are used to exact sciences, where the code is either compiled or not,
>valid or not, working or not: no shades of gray.
>Law is a human science, so nothing like this. Analog all the way thru.

First, all sciences are human :) All scientists are subject to their own
subjectivity and, in fact, practice a 'method' heavily predicated on the
wisdom (a very human notion) of doubt.

That, albeit analog, has resulted in our advances. Doubt, not obsolute
certainty, yields progress.

Incidently, our legal systems (which vary widely) are not as bad as all
that. Doubt is often used in much the same way that scientists use it. That
is, as a means for supplying tests over against the validity of a model
(theory) or proposition.

Finally, If you take the pains to read the findings against Microsoft,
you'll see careful, cogent deliberation which arrives at something like a
semblance of the truth :)


>Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
>                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
><>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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