[Spambayes] Local admin rights

Ryan Malayter rmalayter at bai.org
Tue Mar 1 00:43:54 CET 2005

[Tony Meyer] [mailto:tameyer at ihug.co.nz] 

> As a user, I should have the ability to decide what software 
> I use, assuming
> that it use of it doesn't go against any of the my 
> organisation's policies,
> and that I do not expect any support from the organisation for it. 

This is absolutely, positively NOT the case. At most organizations, the
*organization* owns the computer, and all data on it. At least in the
US, Canada and across most of Europe. 

Legal liability for the organization's computer (and the licenses for
software that goes on it) rests with the organization. This is why savvy
organizations prohibit users from installing any software: your average
user is not empowered (according to the organization's rules) to accept
the license agreement on behalf of the organization. This holds true for
open source software licenses as well.

So, the organization owns the computer, and the *organization* decides
what software the user can use.

For example, I have the authority to negotiate contracts on behalf of my
employer, but 95% of the people who work here do not. They do not have
the training nor expertise to enter into a contractual arrangement on
behalf of the company. A commercial software license IS a contract, so
95% of people here are not authorized to install software - regardless
of the technical issues.

The fact that Spambayes is open source changes this not one bit, as the
user is generally not empowered to accept the PSF License (in
LICENSE.TXT) on behalf of the organization.

> I certainly should not need to go to my system manager and wait 
> weeks for the
> extremely unlikely event of the system manager testing the 
> software and
> deciding to support it and install it for me.

Yes, you *should* have to wait. Total anarchy - unlicensed commercial
software, spyware, viruses, worms, and trashed systems - are the result
when the general user population is allowed to install their own

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