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Re: Question about license compatibility

> On Saturday 23 July 2005 04:41 pm, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 00:03:56 -0700 Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > > Anyone else have thoughts?
> >
> > Yes, I have one:
> > |    3. The licensee agrees to obey all U.S. Government res- trictions
> > |    governing redistribution or export of the software and
> > |    documentation.
> >
> > That sounds non-free.
> > Suppose I'm *not* a U.S. citizen[1]: why should I be bound to obey U.S.
> > Government restrictions?
> >
> > [1] as I was born in Italy, *live* in Italy, and am an Italian citizen,
> >     this is actually the case!     ;-)
> This is a difficult situation that is worth commentary.  Assume for a moment 
> that the U.S. has some strict export restriction.  As a U.S. citizen I am 
> bound by those laws and cannot legally violate them.  Further, if I am to 
> distribute software it is entirely possible that the law prohibits me from 
> distributing that software to citizens of certain nations and to ensure 
> who receive copies do the same.
I don't think the law can really require that I "ensure" the behavior of those 
I distribute copies to; after all, it's a completely impossible requirement!  
I was always under the impression that I was simply not allowed to export 
them *myself*, or *encourage* others to do so.  If the law imposes a positive 
requirement that I police the behavior of anyone I distribute the software 
to, that's pretty evil.  I sure hope it doesn't do that.

> This means I have have a responsibility to ensure others don't distribute 
> cause me to break the law.  The only tool by which I have to do that is the 
> license.
Not that that would work.  If "ensure" were really the requirement, surely a 
clause in the license would be not nearly enough; you would presumably be 
expected to keep track of everyone you distributed it to, monitor their 
behavior, etc.

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