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

On Thu, Sep 08, 2005 at 10:14:50AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 07, 2005 at 02:48:15PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > On Wed, Sep 07, 2005 at 10:47:59PM +1000, Paul TBBle Hampson wrote:
> > > > 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.

> > But choice-of-venue clauses, at least in contracts, *are* enforceable in
> > some significant jurisdictions -- like the one which hosts
> > ftp-master.debian.org.

> > So their freeness is still an issue.

> I get the feeling that it is not the freeness of them which is an issue, they
> don't really make the software more or less free after all, since they enter
> in account only if the licence is broken

No, they enter into consideration *whenever the copyright holder decides
to sue you*.  There have even been cases of one-time Linux kernel
contributors flipping out and suing members of the community -- filing
suit, of course, in their own home jurisdiction, where it's cheap for
them to flood the courts with SLAPP filings.  Do we really think it's a
good idea to approve of giving copyright holders extra leverage for such
lawsuits in their license, and just hope that none of these copyrights
ever wind up in the hands of a hostile entity?

> , and we don't really can consider freeness definitions based on more
> or less broken local juridictions.

In the past, when we have discussed broken jurisdictions, it has been in
the context of licenses which don't go far enough to spell out freedoms
that are taken for granted.  When we talk about choice of venue clauses,
however, this is a clause which has been actively included in the
license and which is (IMHO) non-free in intent.  I don't think we should
accept such licenses as free just because they don't *succeed* in being
non-free in all jurisdictions.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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