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Re: clickthrough license

From: Mark Wielaard
Subject: Re: clickthrough license
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004 23:06:04 +0200


On Mon, 2004-10-04 at 20:22, Per Bothner wrote:
> is it safe to depend on books and articles that may be the result of 
> unpermitted actions?

When I discussed this with Richard Stallman he said the main reasoning
behind recommending a published book as primary reference when working
on GNU Classpath is that if a book publisher can/has produced a book to
explain the system, we can explain the system using source code (and
publish this source code). The source code we publish is probably even a
better/clearer description of the system than any book about the

Not a literal quote though. My interpretation of what he said.

> Of course I would like a lawyer (and specifically Eben Moglen) to
> evaluate this analysis.  Perhaps I'm wrong in dismising the
> specification as a trade secret, for example.
> > FSF Legal will always advise not to take any unnessecary risks that
> > might endanger the (perceived) free software status of a GNU project.
> Right, but even if reading the specification is a risk, I suspect it
> falls into the "necessary" category.

What I want to warn about is using anything that is not publicly
accessible. If you need to actively consent to some click-through
license then don't use it as your primary reference when working on code
for GNU Classpath before contacting me (or the mailinglist).

I am happy to look for alternative means to get at information. And if
there is a (really good) book published on the subject and you really
need it for completing a part for GNU Classpath then let me know and I
see what I can do.

Also, I am happy to make sure specific cases get reviewed by FSF legal.
But please make it a concrete case. "I am implementing <this> part for
GNU Classpath and to make a real compatible implementation I need to
access <this> information, which is only available if I accept the
following <terms>. I looked here and there for alternative specs, but I
am really stuck at this point."

There is a lot of work already for FSF legal. And if Eben or another
lawyer needs to review it then it might take a while before there is a
real formal response.



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