Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Sep 2010 23:38 UTC
Legal EULAs, and whatever nonsense they may contain, are legally binding in the US. Have a great weekend!
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TheGZeus
Member since:
2010-05-19

Yes, EULA go beyond copyright law, but the only reason they have the ability to restrict your use and/or redistribution _at all_ is due to copyright law.

If there were no copyright law it would be perfectly legal/valid to crack the software so the EULA would not appear and use the software however you wished.
That's not the case, though because you've now created a derivative work, which is something covered by copyright law.

Again, there is one clause in the GPL/other licenses that covers use: The Warranty Clause.
It's explicitly giving rights in regard to use, and warning of all responsibility for the results of said use being placed on the user.
That would be a good thing to know for most people, actually. How many bug reports are angry because people feel they have a 'right' to software that works how they want it to?
But that's a philosophical discussion.

The distinction between free licenses and EULA is a philosophical one.
EULA carries a stigma, but there's nothing in the term that makes it distinct from free licenses.
Proprietary EULA generally cover alot more ground than Free ones, yes, but they both cover distribution.

By saying they're different because one covers 'use' implies that there's a difference between 'use' and 'programming'.
Perhaps I'm just unduly enlightened here, as I can't program well at all, but I always thought "The difference between users and programmers is programmers know there's no difference". (source forgotten)
The percieved distinction between them is created by proprietary software vendors trying to make programming seem like majick. (*coughapplecough*).

BASH is turing-complete. The CLI is a repl. There are arguments that GUI use is a form of programming.
Do all of these create derivative works? No.
But "use" and "distribution". are different. "use" and "programming" are not.

Use _is_ covered by free licenses: "use it however you want".
It's just not _restricted_.

It's the fact that you must be granted (installation of a copy) additional right(s), _and_ they choose to restrict standard rights (numerous bullshittery, single machine, cannot be moved, etc) that make them something you must agree to. You have to _waive_ rights, so you must agree to a contract.
If I wanted someone who was releasing something under the GPL to allow me to use it under the terms of the Apache license, I would have to ask them permission, and they would have to agree before I could use it, as they would have to waive additional rights that they held previously (the right to see all code from a derivative work).

Waiving rights requires explicit agreement, gaining them does not.

The 'difference' between free licenses and proprietary is one grants more rights, the other restricts you further than existing ones. (even if it's shareware, they generally explicitly disallow decompilation, or if it's interpreted they might explicitly prevent the use of the code in a derivative work, even if used only internally)

Stigma attached to a term does not prevent logic from putting free licenses under the umbrella term EULA.
where in the term End User License Agreement does it say "text that appears and must be agreed to prior to use"?

They both cover both Use and Copying/Distribution to varying degrees.
One is very concerned with both, one is very concerned with one or neither. (MIT doesn't give a f--k about either, really. Check the Crowley Public License some time)
One generally restricts, the other grants.
They both cover the same things, and can do so because of the same reason: The 1976 copyright act.
proprietary licenses use it how the lobbyists intended, the GPL et al hack it.
If two scripts use a subsystem, but one uses it in a new, unexpected way, that doesn't make the new script not use the subsystem.
Files get transfered over HyperTEXT transfer protocol every day.

I'm out of good ways to make my point atm. Need more coffee.

EDIT:
Just to be clear, I think this AutoDesk license is far to restrictive, and should have been considered invalid.
If the 'copy' (installed software) is 'destroyed' (deleted) then the original software is no longer in use.
The license should be transferrable to another party at that point. The same should be true with any EULA.
Sadly, EULA have been held up in the past.
Destruction of the original copy is the main difference between this and the license of say MS Windows, which is already draconian enough to make you pay for it again if you change out your mother board/hard drive.
Certain restrictions above copyright are reasonable (don't share it with your friends or install it on two machines. That would be fair use, I think, but I also understand why they would want to restrict that, and it's not unreasonable. I just don't use software like that because it's complicated remembering all this crap/telling my friends to go to this one site and get this and agree to that... "Install Debian" is much easier).
That's too much. That should not be upheld in court. It is. fok.

Edited 2010-09-12 14:50 UTC

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