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Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

Anthony Towns writes:

> I don't think that's meaningful; if I sue you in a court in Australia
> for not complying with debootstrap's license, and they find that you've
> infringed the license, it doesn't really matter if I'm doing that out
> of maliciousness or a genuine. And as far as the actual effects go,
> I'm not sure you're going to be any better off without that clause in
> your license: if you set foot in Australia, with an Australian judgement
> against you, there's a good chance of it being enforced; and if you don't,
> there seems to be a practical possibility of your extradition anyway,
> based on [0].

Extradition is for criminal cases, not civil cases.  I cannot imagine
how a choice of venue clause would significantly either help or hurt a
criminal defendant.

As has been previously discussed on -legal -- several times, I might
add -- there are a variety of reasons that the rest your argument is
flawed.  To summarize: Most of the expense of non-local defense
litigation is in advance of any court judgment on the merits.  The
cost to dismiss a lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction is an
order of magnitude (or more) less than litigating it through trial.
It is harder to set aside a default judgment than to dismiss a
complaint for improper venue.

Even if the license provides for recovery of costs and attorneys' fees
plus interest, a successful non-local defendant has to pay significant
out-of-pocket expenses and will probably end up in the red on the
whole case due to his time and money being tied up in the lawsuit
rather than its normal use.

Those are the costs of a choice-of-venue clause.  The (apparently one
and only) benefit is that it is cheaper for the licensor to sue people
and/or the results of lawsuits are more predictable.  Is that truly
acceptable in a free software license?

Michael Poole

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