[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Draft Summary: MPL is not DFSG free

Jim Marhaus <marhaus@sdf.lonestar.org>:

I don't really want to defend the MPL, but ...

> |  2.1. The Initial Developer Grant.
> |      [...]
> |           (d) Notwithstanding Section 2.1(b) above, no patent license is
> |           granted: 1) for code that You delete from the Original Code; 2)
> |           separate from the Original Code;  or 3) for infringements caused
> |           by: i) the modification of the Original Code or ii) the
> |           combination of the Original Code with other software or devices.
> This clause rescinds clause 2.1(b) if the source is modified. This violates
> DFSG #3. Specifically, the author must allow derived works to be distributed
> under the same terms as the original software.

Hasn't this been rebutted by people pointing out that many or most
free software licences don't include any patent licence at all, so
including a restricted patent licence is hardly any worse?

The real question is: are there any valid patents being actively
enforced? If there are, then there would be problem even if the
licence were GPL instead of MPL, so the problem isn't the MPL; the
problem is software patents. Polling boothes closed 84 minutes ago
here in the UK; I hope you voted Green. :-)

> |      With respect to disputes in which at least one party is a citizen of,
> |      or an entity chartered or registered to do business in the United
> |      States of America, any litigation relating to this License shall be
> |      subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts of the Northern
> |      District of California, with venue lying in Santa Clara County,
> |      California, with the losing party responsible for costs, including
> |      without limitation, court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees and
> |      expenses. 

> This clause restricts court venue to Santa Clara County, CA. Venue restrictions
> may force licensees to travel unreasonable distances to defend themselves in
> court, and could be used to effectively revoke the license (Tentacles of Evil).
> For example, if the licensor filed a frivolous lawsuit against a licensee, the
> latter would be forced to travel to the licensor's home court or hire a
> representative, since most jurisdictions summarily rule against absent
> defendants.

I don't know much about the US legal system. How different is this
from the ordinary default situation? If I were "a citizen of, or an
entity chartered or registered to do business in the United States of
America" would I normally be able to safely ignore cases brought
against me in Santa Clara County?

Also, could someone explain how this sort of condition would work in
practice? Suppose I'm the licensee. The licensor would go to court in
Santa Clara County and say what, exactly? I haven't signed anything,
so how would the licensor convince the court that I have agreed to be
sued there? If the court is willing to take the licensor's word for
it, then couldn't the licensor sue me in Santa Clara even if I had
never had anything to do with the software?

Reply to: