[rc5] What will happend

G. Armour Van Horn vanhorn at whidbey.net
Sat Aug 2 16:30:38 EDT 1997


At 16:25 02.08.1997, Curtis Brown wrote:
>>>> I think that displaying some sort of "YOU ARE THE WINNER" message is not
>>>> a very good idea. For example, if my clients says "You found da Key HERE
>>>> it is: 87A341AB679810"
>>>> I will simply put the key in a email to rsa.com and win myself the
>>>> $10000 prize.
>>>
>>>And be in violation of the contract you have entered with bovine.
>>
>>Say what? Have some folks entered into a contract with bovine?
>>
>>Van
>
>Well, by using the Bovine software, you have agreed to the terms of
>licencing. Perhaps a little ambiguous, this information *is* on the Bovine
>homepage, as quoted below:

To create a contract there must be an exchange of "consideration," which
must be concurrent with the agreement. The copyright is valid with or
without a contract, but that only means that I can't distribute the client
once I get it. But no additional restrictions on the use of the product can
be added after the original exchange takes place.

This is why "shrinkwrap" licenses are not valid. The exchange of
consideration (you pay money and you get the program) has already taken
place, and there is no exchange of consideration at the time that you break
the shrinkwrap, so there is no contract. (The FBI Warning against public
showing of rental videotapes would never hold up in court either.)

If there was a license agreement as part of the download process (something
that Adobe does on their website) the user agreement could be enforced as a
contract.  But a paragraph in a readme file, which is read after the fact
if at all, has no legal validity.

I fully intend to use the program in the way the Bovine team intended. I'd
rather the split were 3/3/4 or 2/2/6 instead of 1/1/8, but that's a trifle.
I see the importance of the immediate goal, and I think the potential of
distributed computing in the future as even more important. When Boeing has
some incredible future wind-tunnel simulation to run, or George Lucas has a
need of a billion hours of computer time to rasterize the special effects
in Jurrassic Park VII (in 3D), they will be paying us for the use of our
unused CPU cycles, and there will be contracts. But there isn't one in this
project.

Van


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