Can usage of free software be restricted?

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Tue Apr 12 17:56:52 CDT 2005

On Tue, Apr 12, 2005 at 04:53:43PM -0400, David Mandelberg wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-04-12 at 22:03 +0200, Eric Feliksik wrote:
> > I don't like this. It's not realistic to read those licenses for normal 
> > use. Ubuntu ships software with many different licenses, and  reading 
> [...]
> > Thanks, for your time. I can be wrong about some things, so let me know. 
> > I hope to hear your feedback.
> By using the software, you implicitly agree to the license. While no
> licenses that I know of require you to read the license, you still have
> to abide by the license.

I think the main part of Eric's point is that free software licences
typically require you to abide by them when you're modifying or
distributing them, but, while legally you have to abide by a work's
licence in order to use it, in the case of most free software licences
this is trivial because they impose no use restrictions.

Even if there are some counterexamples to this, I do agree that the note
on /legal could be better written to note that all software in Ubuntu
main has certain minimum freedoms for use.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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