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Re: Why is choice of venue non-free ?

On Fri, Feb 04, 2005 at 10:58:44AM +1100, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 11:11:15AM -0500, Michael Poole wrote:
> > Glenn L McGrath writes:
> > > hmm, so if parts of the license arent enforcable in the licencees
> > > jurisdiction, then a "choice of venue" clause could be used to drag
> > > people into a jurisdiction that they are enforcable...
> > 
> > Yes, "choice of venue" clauses could drag someone into a jurisdiction
> > that he perceives as oppressive.  European individuals often think US
> > copyright and patent laws are overbearing.  US corporations often
> > think European copyright and patent laws are too weak.  Non-Muslims
> > could be very disadvantaged if a COV clause subjects them to shari'a
> > law.  I could continue; is that sufficient illustration?
> To be fair, though, the problems you've listed above are just as prevalent
> in Choice of Law clauses.  "You agree that this licence agreement shall be
> interpreted by the laws of the state of <foo>" can subject a European to US
> patent law, or a US corp. to .eu patent law, and so on, without causing
> either party undue cost (beyond what any lawsuit is going to cost you) due
> to having to present arguments in a foreign court.

And that is why it is *possible* for choice of law clauses to be
non-free: selection of laws that are intrinsically non-free is no
different to writing them into the license in the first
place. Precisely which ones are a problem is a tricky
puzzle. Certainly selecting for one of the middle-eastern despotisms
would be a problem.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
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