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Old 2005-12-07, 00:24   #3
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

232 Posts

Originally Posted by MS63
Where would one stand legally if one was, for example, a computer retailer and one were to, say, install Prime95 on every system sold, such that it ran as a service, with no icon in the system tray, and with the user as a member of one's team?

The poor suckers ... erm, I mean owners would most likely never know it was there.

Morally I think it's questionable, but harmless.

You would be stealing money from the bill payer to fund YOUR prime quest.

If someone sold me a PC configured in that way and I subsequently discovered it the retailer would be facing a lawsuit for the cost of the extra power, PLUS damages, PLUS legal fees, breach of the Computer Misuse Act (unauthoried use of my system without permission) and other charges, and the full weight of the legal system would probably reign down on them unmercifully. Additionally I would be likely to publicise details of the event in many IT magazines, newspapers and online forums.

This is a very BAD idea. Lawyers would eat you for breakfast!

Now, if instead you installed it as a stability testing tool, told the new owner that the software was installed, that they should read the license agreement, and you would INVITE them to join the GIMPS project and also to join your team, that is a better way to approach it.

However, I don't believe you have an agreement with George to distribute his binaries yourself, so he could potentially sue you for that. Many distributed projects have such policy to avoid outdated or trojan versions of their clients being installed.

The OFFICIAL method to obtain the official prime95 software is by downloading from website. So to stay on the right side of the law, perhaps provide a link so that the end-user can obtain for themselves a copy of the prime95 stability tool which you recommend, can themselves assent to George's terms and conditions, can run it themselves, and if they wish, join your team. You might discuss with them any advantages your particular team offered like stats pages etc, and tell them the agreement of what your team would do with any prize money should it succeed.
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