Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Sep 2009 08:44 UTC, submitted by Cytor
Hardware, Embedded Systems There are several options out there if you wan to run Mac OS X on your non-Apple labelled computer, but one of them appears to be in serious trouble. It has been uncovered that the EFI-X module is nothing more than a USB stick with a DRM chip, with code from the hackintosh community on it - without attribution. On top of that, its firmware update utility uses LGPL code - again, without attribution.
Thread beginning with comment 385321
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Question about EULAs
by Bit_Rapist on Mon 21st Sep 2009 19:55 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

Another thing that makes me wonder... I see a lot of people post on these forums that EULAs are not legally binding.

Isn't the GPL a form of an EULA? Its basically the same thing. You didn't sign anything, like an EULA, its just a file sitting there with the terms that you may or may not read depending.

So if an EULA is not legally binding, what makes the GPL legally binding? Why would the GPL be binding, but an EULA be worthless to an end user?

Honest questions here. Dickheads need not reply ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Question about EULAs
by fretinator on Mon 21st Sep 2009 20:16 in reply to "Question about EULAs"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference, as mentioned previously, is that the GPL isn't restricting your rights. A EULA tells you what you can and can't do with the software you just purchased. On the other hand, the GPL tells you you can do anything you want with what you have (purchased or downloaded) EXCEPT restrict the rights of others to whom you give or sell the software.

A EULA could tell you "you can't use this software on days of the week that end in a 'y'". What are you supposed to do if you don't agree with this - take the software back? Good luck getting your money back from Best Buy.

However, having said that, if I were selling "Free-as-in-Freedom" software, I would make sure that the person has agreed to the license before purchasing the software. With "Free-as-in-Beer" software, I do not think that is necessary, since the user has not paid for the software, and thus can't claim to be damaged by being denied the "right" to take away the rights of others.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Question about EULAs
by cycoj on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 02:56 in reply to "Question about EULAs"
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

OK I'll bite, although I'm not entirely sure your question is honest and not just a troll.
1st:
An EULA is an End User Licence Agreement. It (tries) to restrict how you use the software. The GPL does say nothing about the usage of the software. It is only concerned with copying/distribution. Copyright law as it is intended was only ever about copying/distribution. Software manufacturers "found" a way of sneaking in usage restriction into the whole thing by arguing that you copy/distribute when you install on your computer. Nobody would think that you're licensing a book when you buy it, you buy a copy of the book. Similarly with software you buy a copy of the software. The reason that software manufacturers say you're licensing is because you need to copy the software to your computer, and once you do that they make you agree to the EULA. However in a number of jurisdictions the validity of EULAs is at least questionable. In these countries (e.g. Germany), the argument is, that software installation on one computer constitutes usage, not copying/distribution. The reasonable expectation about buying a copy of software is that you can install it in order to use it, thus a requirement to agree to a license once you try to install is "surprising" and void, because it puts restrictions on your purchase after the sale. Now to come back why the GPL is different, it does not govern how you use the copy of GPL software you acquired. You can do whatever you please, however once you copy and/or modify and then distribute it the "restrictions" come into place (i.e. you need to also make your modifications available in source form). However when you acquire a copy of software (open source or proprietary), it is not a reasonable expectation that you can freely distribute and copy it multiple times. This is governed by copyright law. Thus the restrictions of the GPL are not a post sale restriction on your purchase of the copy.

Jochen

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Question about EULAs
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 03:10 in reply to "Question about EULAs"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Another thing that makes me wonder... I see a lot of people post on these forums that EULAs are not legally binding. Isn't the GPL a form of an EULA? Its basically the same thing.


Not exactly. The GPL is an "EUL". It is a license and only a license. It is a legal document that gives the recipient a legal right to do some things with the code that are otherwise disallowed via copyright law.

That is it. You don't have to "agree" with it. You are given permissions to do some things. Either do them or don't, it is up to you, you have got permission via the GPL.


You didn't sign anything, like an EULA,


You have to "click to agree" with a EULA. If you don't agree, you are not given the license to run the code.

its just a file sitting there with the terms that you may or may not read depending.


You don't have to read it. With the GPL license, you have it regardless, no matter what you do or think about it, the permissions that the GPL EUL grants are granted to you regardless.

So if an EULA is not legally binding, what makes the GPL legally binding? Why would the GPL be binding, but an EULA be worthless to an end user? Honest questions here. Dickheads need not reply ;)


The GPL isn't legally binding because it doesn't bind you to anything.

The GPL just grants you some permissions regarding the covered code that copyright law would normally forbid you to have. There are still some things regarding the code that the GPL does not grant you permissions to do.

It is copyright law that binds you.

PS: With a EULA, if you agree to it (click on it), then the software vendor's claim is that you have agreed to be bound by additional conditions that are NOT required by copyright law. It would be those additional conditions (in EULAs only) which are subject to question if you are really legally bound to them or not.

Edited 2009-09-22 03:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2