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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On 5/22/06, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog@gmail.com> writes:

> Given the word "estoppel" only has meaning in jurisdictions deriving
> from English common law, I think it'd be silly to assume it works the
> way you think it does in any of the other jurisdictions Debian or any of
> its mirrors may come in contact with...

In the other jurisdictions that you're familiar with, is there any similar
principal where if you make a recorded public statement that something is
okay, you cannot then later sue someone for doing what you said was okay?

Well, IANAL, but as far as I can see, as long as Sun has a valid
reason to change their mind and is willing to compensate any losses
caused by them changing their mind, they can do whatever they like. A
few possible problems are:

- The promise was made without consideration (no symbolic one cent payment)
- The promise was not formally notarised. A press notice may not count.
- It wouldn't damage Debian or anybody much to revoke the statement.

They may not be able to recover damges for the period you relied on
their statement, but nothing prevents them from stating the contrary.
that's assume the promise is considered valid ofcourse.

A comparison of estoppel between English, American and German. It
refers to contracts however, we we don't have in this case:

Thie simplest solution in this case would be if Sun simply attached
the FAQ as an addendum to the licence rather than stating it's not
legally binding.
Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog@gmail.com> http://svana.org/kleptog/

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