I saw a short note by Andrew Suffield regarding Choice of Venue in Free
Software licenses, which was pointed to by the Debian weekly news.|
Choice of venue can be a useful clause for the purpose of protecting Free Software authors from frivolous lawsuits against them in venues where it is difficult or impossible to defend themselves, but where they could still be damaged. In general such damage would be due to reciprocal treaties or the fact that they might someday wish to visit a nation where a judgement exists against them.
Note that a disclaimer of warranties is not by itself sufficient to protect the author. No one license term is. A court may decide not to honor a disclaimer of warranty, while still honoring choice of venue and sending the case elsewhere.
It was not my intent in designing the DFSG to rule out choice-of-venue. I do not recall anyone else connected with the DFSG making comments against it during the discussion leading up to acceptance of the DFSG.
The closest DFSG term to this issue is the one about discrimination against persons or groups. A choice of venue of the actual jurusdiction in which the copyright holder is resident would not in my opinion be discriminatory. A choice designed to increase difficulty might be.
I don't see that the DFSG language as it currently exists reads against all choice-of-venue clauses. Nor do I see that additional language to add that feature to the DFSG is necessary.
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