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Re: Termination clauses, was: Choice of venue

Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com> wrote:
>Matthew Garrett wrote:
>> At the point where the termination clause is used, the software is
>> obviously non-free. I'd argue that this is directly analagous to the way
>> we deal with patents. Almost all software we ship has the sword of
>> patent suits hanging over its head, and could become non-free at any
>> time as a result.
>In the worst case, the patent suits could be fought on the grounds that the
>patents are illegal and invalid.  There are entire lobbying organizations
>working to deal with this problem.

Many of the patents are not obviously illegal and invalid.

>(If you pointed me to an evidently valid patent which is being infringed, I
>would say "Get that program out!")

You'd be going against Debian policy, then.

>In contrast, if the copyright holder declares his right to terminate the
>license based on a termination clause, there really is no arguing with it. 
>At all.  It's not just a lawsuit, it's "give up and go home".

Which is the effective situation we're in with patents.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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