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Re: RFC: GPL plus securities industry disclaimer suitable for main?

[Please follow debian list policy and refrain from Cc:'ing me. I am
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fact, I have repeatedly asked *not* to be Cc:'ed.]

On Thu, 02 Oct 2003, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> The laws of England control *interpretation* of the contract, and a
> few other things, but not venue, nor jurisdiction, nor the reach of a
> "this license bars illegal acts" rule. 

Illegal acts are quite simply, acts that are against the law. If the
contract is to be construed in terms of the Laws of England, the
English definition of illegality can quite easily be considered to
apply. [In this case, we're obviously talking about an illegal use
that causes a breach of the license, rather than one that subjects you
to criminal prosecution.]

> English law surely gives it the meaning "illegal in the relevant
> local context".  

If the clause in the contract actually said that, there would be no
argument. However, it just says 'illegal purpose.'

Frankly, I really don't like the idea of licenses restricting what you
use a piece of software for anyway, even if it is illegal. It's not a
Free Software license's job to tell you how you can use a piece of
software. If you want to create weapons of mass destruction with the
software, or subvert your government with it, it's not the licenses
job to restrict that.

> The whole point of choice-of-law is that it doesn't do anything more
> than answer the otherwise uncertain question "whose law governs
> this". 

Or more acurately: 'whose law is used to interpret the meaning of this
license', which basically boils this discussion down to what the
English Law definition of 'illegal' is. Is it 'illegal in the local
jurisdiction' or is it 'acts that are against English Law.' If you're
aware of English case law that says the former rather than the latter,
I'll conceed, but until then, the issue is still open.

Don Armstrong

I'd sign up in a hot second for any cellular company whose motto was:
"We're less horrible than a root canal with a cold chisel."
-- Cory Doctorow


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