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Date:      Thu, 13 May 1999 18:41:47 -0400 (EDT)
From:      Thomas David Rivers <>
Subject:   RE: BSD, GPL, the world today.
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000101be9d8d$38c6e120$>

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> > > You "bought" the software, and agreed to the license terms
> > > when you opened the box, didn't you - Caveat Emptor.
> >
> > That's a pretty fine legal point that hasn't fully been settled yet, but
> > the court cases seem to be leaning towards throwing it out.  The shrink
> > wrap license may finally! become a stupidity of the past within the
> > next few years.
> 	If so, that will be the end of the GPL/GLL, as they are the grandaddy of
> all shrink wrap agreements.
> 	DS

 Didn't I understand that some shrink-wrap oriented laws were working
 their way through the US senate/house?  

 Even if the law is passed, I've talked with several lawyers who
 say shrink-wrap breaks some of the fundamental tenets of our
 english/common-law based contract law... and thus, any law enacted
 is likely to be dismissed by the courts, eventually.

 The idea that shrink-wrap seems to break is that both parties
 read and understand the agreement before agreeing to it, and *before*
 any money changes hands.  Shrink-wrap doesn't give the purchasing party
 that opportunity; so, technically, they haven't aggree'd to it, and
 the purchase is complete.  Thus, any assertions made by the seller
 of license violations are null-and-void.   

 Of course, hypothetically, this means one go buy a copy of some
 shrink-wrap software and begin reselling it oneself, as no agreement
 was made and the money changed hands... but, I don't recommend
 that - at least copyright law should prevent it.

	- Dave Rivers -

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