License or Contract?

Wouter Vanden hove wouter.vanden.hove at
Mon Jun 21 22:26:15 EDT 2004

Eben Moglen always clearly described the GNU GPL as a license, not a 
"The GPL, however, is a true copyright license: a unilateral permission,
in which no obligations are reciprocally required by the licensor."

I always thought the same of the Creative Commons Licenses.

However in the recently launched Dutch Version 
of the CC Licenses, the licenses are described as contracts:

"The mere exercise of rights to the work does not suffice under Dutch 
law to conclude a contract.
The additional provision `provided that the (content of the) Licence has 
been made sufficiently clear
to the recipient beforehand' is required under Dutch law for the legal 
validity of the conclusion of a contract.


When I buy a book in holland, I don't have to read/sign the "All right 
reserved"-clause anymore than in any other country.
Sure there may be differences in contract law between the US and 
Holland, but if the CC-licenses are not a contracts, why would this matter?

What are the opinions on "License versus Contract" in the other European 

Wouter Vanden Hove

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