[sane-devel] Is click-through license needed for xsane?

Oliver Rauch oliver.rauch@rauch-domain.de
Sat, 16 Mar 2002 11:31:09 +0100

"Dwayne C. Litzenberger" wrote:

> For Debian's specific case, I think it would be wise to consult debian-legal
> about this matter.  Personally, I think on Debian it would be safe to remove
> the dialog, since the default Debian installation comes with an /etc/motd
> which states the following:
>         Most of the programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are
>         freely redistributable; the exact distribution terms for each program
>         are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright
>         Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
>         permitted by applicable law.

This is a nice information for the user. But you can not make sure that
each user that is using a program did read and realize and accept this.

Is this text displayed in the graphical login procedure (kdm, xdm,...) ?
Is it displayed when you login via telnet, ssh, rsh?
If it is not displayed in one of these cases then you can completely remove

> As a general practice, I think annoying users with these dialogs is unwise for
> several reasons:
> 1. If every single program (GUI or otherwise) had a disclaimer that must be
> acknowledged, the operating system as a whole would be practically unusable.
If the user has to click "accept" on the first program start then this has
no influence to the usability of the system.

> 2. Disclaimers do not protect against many forms of negligence, and the
> legality of click-throughs is questionable,
But this is not reason not to display it.
This would be the same as if you say I can not buy an insurance that
protects me from everything so I do not buy an insurance at all.

> especially in the case where the
> user is not authorized to act on behalf of another entity (like the company
> owning the hardware that might get broken).

In this case it is the problem if the user who installed and used the
program. The user accepts that the author does not pay any compensation
for damage. Then this is a problem between the company and the worker.

> 3. Using such disclaimers may set a precedent that others will be obligated to
> follow, which could result in the operating system as a whole becoming
> practically unusable.
see 1)
and it may be a good thing if this sets a precedent, I think authors of
free/GPLed software will get more and more in conflict with legal stuff and law
and it gets time that we begin to think about the consequences!!!

> 4. Common sense and common practice dictates that free software (indeed,
> mass-market software in general) comes with no warranty, and the warranty
> information is easily available to anyone who makes a legitimate effort find
> it.

Law has not alway anything in common with "common sense" and "common practice".

> The disclaimer is paranoid.  Unfortunately, Oliver probably lives in the U.S.
> where, with the DMCA, I'd be paranoid too.

I do not live in U.S., I live in germany and the laws about software, internet
and so an are really getting non sense here.


Homepage:	http://www.rauch-domain.de
sane-umax:	http://www.rauch-domain.de/sane-umax
xsane:		http://www.xsane.org
E-Mail:		mailto:Oliver.Rauch@rauch-domain.de