[d@DCC] Perils of licensing software
russell at flora.ca
Wed Dec 11 19:38:02 EST 2002
On 11 Dec 2002, Richard Pitt wrote:
> The problem is - with things like the "shrink-wrap" law now proposed in
> the States (in place with minor changes in a couple of States) you don't
> get to choose the license before you choose the product. This is a
> _major_ problem.
I consider this a _major labeling_ problem, not a licensing problem.
Governments should enact generalized mandatory labeling laws for all
consumer products. If there are controversial ingredients in a product
for sale to the average citizen, whether it is peanuts, GMO's or TPM's,
this should be mandatory labeling.
Free Markets require informed consumer/customer choice in order to
function. Any obfustication of the features of a product (including
critical ingredients such as the license agreement of software where one
can't read before buying -- or decide it is too complex and simply not buy
based on that mis-feature alone) is a basic opposition to free markets.
It is a simple matter to have a URL pointing to a public website
documenting a license printed on the package. I see no reason why this
isn't being done, nor any reason why governments shouldn't be mandating
this as a minimum requirement for any 'shrink wrap' software.
Like the word "Free Software", the real meaning of the term "Free
Market" is not generally understood. It is being hidden from the general
public by various vested economic (and political) interests.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Any 'hardware assist' for communications, whether it be eye-glasses,
VCR's, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen
and not a third party. -- http://www.flora.ca/russell/
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