Wireshark-users: Re: [Wireshark-users] Windows installer bug: Users shouldn't have to accept GNU
From: Shawn Willden <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 08:41:55 -0600
On Friday 22 September 2006 03:14, ronnie sahlberg wrote:
> I dont really understand.

I'll try to clarify, then :-)

> Exactly what is the problem with displaying the GPL to the user and
> enforce that the user clicks on a button such as "Accept" ?

The problem is that it reinforces the EULA mindset that it's normal to have to 
agree to some arbitrary set of restrictions before being able to install and 
use a software package.  In RMS' ideal world, and mine, users should expect 
to be able to run any software that they acquire legally, without having to 
agree to anything.  The GPL does, in fact, support this notion, but the 
increasingly common practice of using the GPL as a click-wrap agreement 
undermines it.

> It is a good thing if users are educated about the GPL.

I agree.  That's why I suggest that Wireshark's installer display it, but take 
pains to make it clear that the user is not required to agree to any 

> Before we remove the Accept button or the GPL text   we should first
> get approval for those changes from all those other packages first.

That is not necessary.  Their software is also distributed under the GPL, and 
the GPL does not require that the text of the license be displayed (only that 
it be provided with the software) and specifically disclaims any requirement 
that the user AGREE to the GPL in order to run the software.

Of course, if Wireshark includes components that are under licenses other than 
the GPL, it is necessary to abide by any tems of those licenses, which may 
include displaying those licenses.