Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL
Josh Triplett wrote:
> MJ Ray wrote:
>> Josh, Good summary. I think you've taken recent discussions about them
>> into account a bit. I've a few comments...
> Thanks. You had mentioned that it would be better to word summaries in
> terms of software covered by the license, rather than the license itself.
>> On 2004-07-09 22:59:18 +0100 Josh Triplett <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> * Clause 6c requires modified versions that are not distributed to the
>>> public to be provided to the original developer on request. This
>>> requirement fails the "Desert Island" test and the "Dissident" test (see
>>> sections 9a, 9b, and 12o of the DFSG FAQ at
>> I think it would be better to refer to the DFSG directly if we can.
> Agreed. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything in the DFSG that I
> could point to which would directly cover the right to make private
> modifications. Given that this issue seems to be one of the most common
> Freeness issues that isn't covered in the DFSG, at some point it should
> be added as an additional Guideline.
Agreed. Personally, I think it's implicit in DFSG 6; it discriminates
against the field of making modifications to the program, by forcing them
to be distributed before their authors are ready.
>>> Since in many legal jurisdictions, a party that fails to appear and
>>> defend themselves in the courts of the given jurisdiction will
>>> automatically lose such a dispute, such "choice of venue" clauses
>>> place an undue burden on the recipient of the software in the face
>>> of any legal action (whether legitimate or not), and are therefore
>>> considered non-free.
>> "non-free by some." Or maybe many. At least I hope for a Smart Person
>> explaining why we're wrong on these, as they are in a couple of painful
>> places and I have trouble believing that Mozilla, OSI and FSF all slept
>> through this problem.
> Recall that the IBM Common Public License contains "Each party waives
> its rights to a jury trial in any resulting litigation.", and it is
> listed as free by both the OSI and FSF.
Right, and I would never accept that as free in my life.
> I suspect that people are not
> used to the "guidelines"/"case law" approach and the level of detailed
> license analysis on debian-legal, and expect something more like the
> OSI's "checklist" approach.
> I suspect that one of the major objections to choice of venue clauses
> (as opposed to choice of law clauses) is that they place more of a
> burden on those being sued. I also suspect that "If you sue us over
> this software, you must do so in this jurisdiction" would be far less
> problematic than "If we sue you over this software, you must defend
> yourself in this jurisdiction". After all, we are much more concerned
> about being sued than about the ability to sue the author.
Precisely. I believe we could be quite happy with the first sort of
statement, if phrased very carefully (I think compulsory counterclaims
would belong in the 'defense' category, and that must be carefully noted).
What we want to prevent is the possibility of the copyright holder
preventing exercise of the license rights by nuisance tactics carried out
across the ocean. In general, this would mean the copyright holder
initiating a suit against the user. (If you can think of a situation where
it would mean the user initiating the lawsuit, except for counterclaims
after the copyright holder sued, please correct me.)
IANAL, TINLA. Frankly, these days *everyone* has to have a lawyer's
knowledge of copyright law to write *anything*. Blech.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.