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Re: The QPL licence

While I am not a lawyer, I am a law student...  and if I remember anything 
from my civil procedure course I don't think this particular choice of venue 
clause would stick in an international setting.  Violation of contract law is 
handled by the nation in which the violation is committed (note, this migth 
be handled under copyright law, which gets murky with contracts law...  but 
this type of choice of law clause is more of a contracts construction).  If I 
were to violate the license, I'm fairly certain that the licensor would have 
to come to me to sue, as the Netherlands has no jurisdictional authority and 
I do not believe the extradition treaties apply to civil suits.  Consider 
copyright violations in China...  absent more stringent laws in China, U.S. 
companies cannot seek meaningful redress against them.

Now, of course, the Netherlands may have some strange civil rules that leads 
the author to believe he could enforce the clause...  but I very much doubt a 
United State's court would recognize any judgment issued by that court.

A more interesting question, and one I admit to having little knowledge, is 
the choice of law.  Would a US court apply Netherland's copyright/contract 
law if the author were to sue me here?  Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno (454 U.S. 
235) indicates great hesitation for Federal Courts to try to apply laws of 
other nations, preferring that such cases be handled in by those nations laws 
or by the laws of the United States.  Either way, I'd say its a gamble as to 
which way any particular court would fall on that issue.

This is just my two cents from a guy who reads debian-legal has never 
commented before.  If anyone knows some good case law that contradicts what 
I've said, I'd be really interested to see it.


On Sunday 25 April 2004 12:30 pm, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Glenn Maynard <g_deb@zewt.org>
> > "Choice of Law
> >
> > This license is governed by the Laws of the Netherlands. Disputes shall
> > be settled by Amsterdam City Court."
> >
> > I'm not particularly familiar with these clauses, but isn't the second
> > sentence a choice of venue?  It doesn't feel free.
> Neither does it to me. It seems to me that it means that if the author
> for some reason decides to sue me for breach of license, I have to go
> to Amsterdam to protest my innocense.
> If all it said was that if I want to sue the author (for what?), then
> I must go to Amsterdam, then it would be fine with me.
> --
> Henning Makholm            "We can hope that this serious deficiency will
> be remedied in the final version of BibTeX, 1.0, which is expected to
> appear when the LaTeX 3.0 development is completed."

Sean Kellogg
1st Year - UW Law School
c: 206.498.8207    e: skellogg@u.washington.edu
w: http://students.washington.edu/skellogg/      <-- UPDATED

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything
as if it were a nail."
     -- Abraham Maslow

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