ILIAS mix of GNU GPL with own terms

Sonja Branskat Sonja.Branskat at
Thu May 31 13:46:57 UTC 2001

Lutz Horn wrote:

>"The software of this project is released under the GNU GPL but before
>you can download a copy you additionaly have to agree to so called
>'Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen (AGB)' which on the project site is
>translated as 'general terms of business'."

The AGBs are important due to the German law. They explain among other
how to interprete the GPL under the German law. This is  because there
exists no translation of the GPL and because the American and German 
law differ in
e.g. in terms of the copyright law.
Detail information can be found here:
article: 10. Open Source Software and German Copyright Law

more information (German only) is available -on:   articles: 1-9

ILIAS is part of CampusSource ( CampusSource
provides open source infrastructure  software for  the use of new 
media for teaching
  and learning at universities. The initiative decided  for the GPL, 
but had to face the
problem of the different laws. The server is operated in the 
CampusSource office and as
the office we have to put up the AGBs. At the moment, we are 
translating the ABGs into English and it will soon be available.

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.

>  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",
>     "immediatly inform the licenser if third parties claim any rights",
>     "if the licensee has the imperssion that the software violates third
>     party rights he is obligated to immediatly inform the licenser in
>     written form about this violation including a detailed description of
>     the act of violation. It is disallowed to the licensee to inform any
>     other natural of legal entities without written permission of the
>     licenser (about the violation of third party rights)."
>     "If any of the about obligations ('Nebenpflichten') is violated the
>     licensee takes the obligation to pay compensation to the licenser for
>     all damage done by the violation."

According to our layer this has to be there to prevent that people try to make
money by purposefully looking for violations.

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

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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