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Re: sendmail X license (fwd)

Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu> writes:

> Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:
>> Scripsit Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>
>> > Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com> wrote:
>> > > "This license is governed by California law"
>> > > OK.
>> > > "and both of us
>> > >    agree that for any dispute arising out of or relating to this Software,
>> > >    that jurisdiction and venue is proper in San Francisco or Alameda
>> > >    counties."
>> > > No we don't.  This is non-free.
>> > I fail to see the difference.
>> There's a big difference between choice of law and choice of venue.
>> If it *just* said "governed by California law", and the licensor
>> decided to file a frivolous lawsuit against me (think
>> tentacles-of-evil test if you will), they would still have to do it in
>> *my* home court, and they would then have to explain to *my* local
>> judge that California law interprets "accompany the copy with full
>> source code" as implicitly including an obligation to pet a cat.
> They wouldn't have to file the lawsuit in your local court.  In fact,
> if they tried, claiming that you violated California law, the judge
> would throw it out, as the judge has no jurisdition over California
> law.  The judge may not even be able to read California law, and so is
> not capable of rendering judgements based on his understanding of it.
> Rather, they would file in California court, because that is where
> California law is decided.  The whole point of choice of law clauses
> is to force everything to happen in a particular place.

Um, I'm not a lawyer and this is outside even my
layman's-understanding of the law, but I'm certain I've seen cases
proceed in the courts of location X under the laws of location Y,
because a violation of a contract happened in X -- or the parties or
tort are somehow in X, such that it has jurisdiction, but the contract
insists on the laws of Y.

So this doesn't force it to happen in a particular place, it just
encourages the courts to virtualize their judges.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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