[Linux-aus] Last chance to critique...

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Mon Feb 10 15:22:53 UTC 2003

On Monday 10 February 2003 01:00 pm, Con Zymaris wrote:
> A Comparison of the GPL and the Microsoft EULA

Page 9: s/tweaks to the fact/twigs to the fact/

For others on the list, Word Of The Day:

   twig(2) Pronunciation Key  (twg)
   v. Chiefly British twigged, twig*ging, twigs 
   v. tr.
     1. To observe or notice.
     2. To understand or figure out: "The layman has twigged what the
        strategist twigged almost two decades ago" (Manchester
        Guardian Weekly). 
   v. intr.
     To be or become aware of the situation; understand: "As Europe is now
     twigging, the best breeding ground for innovators who know how to do
     business is often big, competitive companies" (Economist).

Page 10: automated updates that kill other software: IIRC, Microsoft have 
already done this, deliberately disabling or removing some piece of 3rd party 
software during an update, but can't remember the exact circumstances. Put it 
this way, it's a temptation that I can in no way see them resisting. 

Page 11: `substantially' is an arguable term, and would in practice make 
closing a claim against Microsoft for non-performance or error well nigh 
impossible, even without the many other clauses to help them.

Page 14 (fixme): perhaps more important even that denial of any right of 
title, quiet possession or enjoyment, is the exclusion of `CORRESPONDENCE TO 
DESCRIPTION OR NON-INFRINGEMENT' - which seems to imply that Microsoft can 
lie their collective butts off about what XP Pro is and does, even if it's 
illegal, and you've just accepted responsibility for that. The M*A*S*H theme 
drifts across the landscape of my mind...

OR OF REASONABLE CARE, FOR NEGLIGENCE...' seems to me to be particularly 
onerous, and you don't touch on that. In essence, they're saying that they 
can be as careless or as treacherous as they like, and in accepting their 
licence you are effectively _warranting_ that they haven't; that is, if 
someone dies, is maimed, loses their life savings because of a fault in 
Microsoft's software, you hold yourself responsible for that.

Really, this is a Microsoft warranty, not a product warranty. In claim after 
claim, they are handing responsibilities traditionally and at law covered by 
them over to you, the user.

Page 16: s/attempt to bear/attempt to bring to bear/

Page 18: IMESHO, you should make an oft-overlooked point here. (-:

Although the GPL says that it `is intended to guarantee your freedom to share 
and change free software', it actually achieves this by making guarantees 
which amount to the right of _the_software_itself_ to be unencumbered, 
although think that the GPL couldn't say this outright with any legal power. 
User freedoms are an almost inevitable consequence of this guarantee of 
freedom for _the_software_itself_.

It's kind of like underwriting the freedom of a country by defending the 
freedom of each individual in that country instead of defending the country 
as a whole and directly.

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia
http://linux.org.au/~leonb/lca2003/  THE Oz Linux Technical Conf:
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