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Re: Debian OpenSolaris port, exchange with Sun folks in webforum/MailingList

On Wed, Sep 07, 2005 at 11:32:06AM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr>

>> interface is enough to stop any derivative-work-contagion, so we are back to
>> the lone choice of venue thingy, and its rather feeble argumentation on
>> debian-legal, full of chinese dissidents and desert islands :)

>> The only sane solution and the one i believe is default in international law
>> is choice of venue to be the defendants court, either zwhere he is based or
>> makes business.

> I'm confused about your opinion here. On one hand you seem to feel
> that it is OK freedom-wise for a license to have a choice-of-venue
> clause stipulating that the licensee must appear in the licensor's home
> court in any suit about the software, even when the licensee is the
> defendant.

> On the other hand you say that the only sane solution is to let the
> default rules prevail and have the case take place in the defendant's
> home court.

> These two do not appear to be compatible (unless you think a license
> can be "free" with a venue choice that you do not consider "sane"), so
> I must have misunderstood one of them. Could you elaborate, please?

If we replace "sane" with "enforcable" (which is what I think the OP was
getting at) then they are in fact compatible. A license does not become
non-free if it contains unenforcable components, unless it contains a component
that specifies that any unenforcable clause voids the whole license.

(Or at least, that's my understanding. It may in fact be that unless a license
contains a clause that says clauses stand on their own, a single void clause
may void the whole license. Australian copyright law contains a specific
example of a law that voids a specific clause in a license without recourse or
appeal, in the section on reverse-engineering software.)

I take no position on the freeness of venue-change clauses. I suspect they are
in many places unenforcable, but have no information to say so.

Paul "TBBle" Hampson, MCSE
8th year CompSci/Asian Studies student, ANU
The Boss, Bubblesworth Pty Ltd (ABN: 51 095 284 361)

"No survivors? Then where do the stories come from I wonder?"
-- Capt. Jack Sparrow, "Pirates of the Caribbean"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/au/

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