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Re: Draft Summary: MPL is not DFSG free

Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> 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?

Normally, lawsuits and other prosecutions occur in the jurisdiction in
which the alleged offense took place, so if a licensor claimed that a
resident of another state or country violated their license through
actions taken in that state or country, the licensor would have to go to
the licensee's jurisdiction and raise the issue in their courts, under
their laws.  This condition requires lawsuits to occur in a Federal
Court of California, in Santa Clara County, under California law.

I don't know whether the licensor would need to provide a certain amount
of proof in order to bring the lawsuit in the first place, but even if
they did, the strength of the proof would be on the order of "enough to
allow presentation of further evidence in a lawsuit" rather than "a
preponderance of the evidence".  Once it got that far, the court would
most likely rule against the licensee automatically; since they present
no defense, 100% of the evidence argues against them.  Also, the
licensor doesn't need a signature to prove agreement; once they
established that the licensee distributed the software, they would
simply use the same argument as for GPL violations: "Either they agreed
to the license, and are violating it, or they did not agree to the
license, and they infringed copyright by distributing the software.".
On the other hand, this _would_ interact strangely with the choice of
venue, since in the latter case the copyright violation would be subject
to the laws of the licensee's jurisdiction.

- Josh Triplett

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