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Re: CDDL, OpenSolaris, Choice-of-venue and the star package ...

Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> Matthew Garrett writes:
>> The licensor *already* has carte blanche to harrass licensees with
>> fivolous lawsuits. The only thing that changes are the costs.
> This seems remarkably similar to the argument "The user has carte
> blanche to exercise DFSG freedoms; the only thing that a use fee
> changes are the costs."  Does that mean that DFSG#1 allows fees for
> all users of software?

A use fee imposes a cost where no cost would otherwise exist. For a big
evil corporation, the difference in cost between suing me in the UK and
suing me in the US is sufficiently small that they're unlikely to worry
greatly about the amount. Even without a choice of venue clause, they
can launch a lawsuit against me and make my life miserable. They pay
slightly more, I pay slightly less.
> At least in the US, it is fairly cheap (<$10k, predominantly in lawyer
> fees) to have a lawsuit with improper venue dismissed, and those costs
> can often be awarded to the defendant.  Even if costs are not awarded,
> the US's Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (to wit, FRCP 41(d)) can
> have the judge order the plaintiff to pay for previously dismissed
> actions before further hearing any sufficiently similar action.

So, in fact, it might be *cheaper* for me to have the case handled in
the US than in some other jurisdictions?

(Out of interest, are there any jurisdictions where the defendant is
required to be present in a civil case, or is legal representation
acceptable everywhere?)

>> But the freedom to be able to enforce the requirements of a software
>> license *does* have something to do with software freedom. There are
>> always tradeoffs.
> Would you prefer an OSL-style license based on a contract where the
> distributor(s) explicitly agree to provide source code to the
> licensee, handing enforcement ability to all licensees?

Sounds quite reasonable from an ideological point of view, but I can see
it presenting certain practical difficulties.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.devel@srcf.ucam.org

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