ILIAS mix of GNU GPL with own terms

Sonja Branskat Sonja.Branskat at
Fri Jun 1 08:12:40 UTC 2001

hi Lutz,

>  > Lutz Horn wrote:
>>  >"The licensee is obligated to carefully keep his password for the
>>  >   download area [of the web site] and not to disclose it to third
>>  >    parties. The licensee is liable for any damage which rise from a
>>  >   violation of this obligation of carefulnes."
>>  >So why this sentence? What if I download the software and immediatly
>>  >    put it on my own web site for download without the need for
>>  >    registration? Even though I don't disclose my password, I make
>>  >    available all the additional information I got from registering at
>>  >    the original web site. The licenser could interpred this as a
>>  >    violation of the obligation quoted above.
>>  We, as the people being responsible for our server,  have to make sure
>>  that everybody who downloads the software from our server has accepted
>>  the AGB (our layer said).
>>  Third people, who accepted the AGBs, downloaded the software and who
>>  want to distribute the software themselves are only required to
>>  distribute the software under the GPL.
>So if I get you right, you would not allow me to publish the password I
>received after accepting the AGBs since by that I'd enable third parties
>to get the software from _your_ server _without_ accepting the AGBs. Is
>that correct?

   This is correct.

>>  >  3. Under '5. Schutzrechte Dritter' the licenser states that according to
>  > >     his knowledge the software does not violate the rights of any third
>  > >     parties (in Germany). To keep it that way the licensse is obligated
>>  >     to (and again, my poor translation):
>>  >
>>  >     "not use the software for himself or under order of third parties for
>>  >     the purpose of searching for violation of third party rights",
>>  According to our layer this has to be there to prevent that people try
>>  to make money by purposefully looking for violations.
>May I ask, why? To play stupid: Why to you not want others to make money
>from looking for violations?

   As far as I understood this is because *we* would have to pay them, because
   we published software that violates the rights of any third 
parties. And believe me,
   we tried our best to verify that there are no violations - but with 
that many code
   (we offer at this time six software packages) we might have not 
seen everything.

>>  Reinhard Mueller wrote
>>  > One additional problem I see is: Will these AGBs be valid for people
>>  > that get this software from somewhere else? They will probably never
>>  > have seen them...
>>  they are not valid for for people who get this software from somewhere
>>  else
>So you allow me to distribute the software to people who actively search
>for patent violations?

  yes, you can. If someone finds anything, they will sue you as you 
distributed the software.
  You will not succeed in forwarding the trouble and the costs to us, 
as you accepted our

>If I can distribute the software only under the
>GNU GPL without forcing third parties to accept the terms in the AGBs
>(includign the "Nebenpflichten") there is no way how you can prevent
>violations of the "Nebenpflichten" by persons who have never agreed to
>them due to receiving the software from me. If this is correct, why all
>the fuss about the AGBs in the first place?

   german law, adminsistration, making sure noone can claim us to have negliated
our duties as a server operator in Germany.

>Even more important is the question: If the above is _not_ true and you
>don't allow me to redistribute the software to persons who'll actively
>search for patent violations, doesn't these additional conditions make
>the software non free software?
>I understand that you have to make certain precautions. But if you want
>to redistribute your software under the GNU GPL you should face the
>question concerning the freedom of your software.

   to me understanding our software is completely GNU GPL  licensed software.
   Our AGBs do not restrict any of the GPL terms.

>I doubt that the
>FSF(E) would accept a software made non free by additional conditions to
>be distributed under the GNU GPL.
>Of course I can only speak for myself since I'm no member of the FSF or
>the FSFE. But as far as my understanding of the subject goes there are
>some difficulties which have not been resolved yet.



>Lutz Horn <lh at>
>For PGP information see header.

mit freundlichen Grüßen

Sonja Branskat

Sonja Branskat
Geschäftsstelle CampusSource
c/o FernUniversität Hagen
Feithstr. 142
58084 Hagen

email: sonja.branskat at
Telefon: (+49) 02331 987 4258
Telefax: (+49) 02331 987 317

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