privity (was Re: Fwd: [linux-elitists] Wow, M$ is even more evil than I thought)

Brooklyn Linux Solutions CEO
Wed Apr 4 20:38:44 PDT 2001

Copyright Law is Copyright Law...

Licensing has to obey both Copyright Law and General Contract Law.


On 2001.04.04 16:19:00 -0400 Rick Moen wrote:
begin  Heather quotation:
> If so, then I'm certainly not privy to EULA details if I have to rip
> open shrinkwrap to see it, and I suppose that since I am not
> interested in the same things as the average vendor, that my usual
> 'tude to their license is not going to be the friendly stance.

Part of the point of the UCITA model statute (perhaps its main point) is
to modify the Uniform Commercial Code provisions that have traditionally
governed contracts:  Shrinkwrap licences are per UCC pretty much
conclusively _not_ binding contracts, because there is no negotiation
between buyer and seller as to the terms ("offer and acceptance", as the
UCC requires).

Fortunately, only Virginia has thus far been dumb enough to fall for it.
(Maryland eviscerated the worst parts of UCITA, before adopting it.) And
that may or may not survive court challenges, over time.

> viz, nitpicking the GPL, even though I agree with many of the
> principles aimed for, the whole point of inscribing it in Copyright
> Law is because it's designed to restrict people trying to play
> fast-n-loose with it.

Yes, there appears to be some confusion on this point, and at least a
small amount of disagrement -- but I've always clearly understood the
GPL to operate wholly in the realm of the Copyright Act, rather than
contract law:  It describe the terms of a "transfer of copyright" -- an
unfortunately misleading but standard legal term that denotes a granting
of permissions by the owner to materials governed by the Copyright Act.

Cheers,                                      Right to keep and bear
Rick Moen                                  Haiku shall not be abridged                           Or denied.  So there.

Brooklyn Linux Solutions


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