[vlc-devel] vlc: Windows install and GPL dialog box - unfortunate "I agree" button

Jari Aalto jari.aalto at cante.net
Sat Mar 28 00:34:06 CET 2009

""=?iso-8859-1?q?R=E9mi?=" Denis-Courmont" <rem at videolan.org> writes:

> On Friday 27 March 2009 23:39:35 Jari Aalto wrote:
>> > We need to present the disclaimer of warranty... which is part of the
>> > license. We don't want to end up being sued for breaking someone's else
>> > computer.
>> Please read my post. The dialog can be presented, it's the button text
>> that needs change. Simply make it say:
>>     [Next]
>> Instead of:
>>     [I agree]
>> As done in the links I presented.
> The user must agree to the disclaimer. If not, (s)he has no copyright license, 
> and is hence not allowed to use the software. I do not see a problem here.

Incorect interpretation. GPL is not EULA. GPL'd software cannot be
denied from any use.

The GPL gives rights, it does not take or restrict rights, thus it
cannot be denied or agreed on. E.g. the installation cannot be stopped
or prohibited by the program whether the user denies or agrees with the
GPL. The installation phase has no legal meaning in context of GPL,
because GPL'd software can be installed by other means, like from
sources, where there is no click'n'tru to see the license. The license
is distributed *with* the software, not *for* the user.

    the authors of the GPL claim it is NOT a contract, but rather a

GPL is copyright act. The contract does not happen between the
clicker/End used and the Dialog box / Software Authors. It does not
matter whatever text, like "I agree" is presented there.

It is ok to make user aware of the terms the software is distributed
under, especially that it gives *him* certain rights. Therefore the
simple button text:


It all that is needed.

The "I agree" is misleading in any case. It does not have any legal
substance. It does not protect the developers any more than a "I'm happy
today" button. GPL already does that by itself when it is distributed
*with* the software, even when user would not see it.


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