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Re: BitTorrent Open Source License (Proposed Changes)

On Sunday 31 July 2005 06:45 am, Michael Poole wrote:
> Sean Kellogg writes:
> > On Saturday 30 July 2005 02:26 pm, Michael Janssen wrote:
> >> Sean Kellogg <skellogg <at> u.washington.edu> writes:
> >>
> >> [8< Cut Venue Clause and re-writing 8<]
> >>
> >> > Hmm...  Personally, I'm not convinced that venue clauses are non-free.
> >> > But if they are willing to drop a venue requirement, that's great for
> >> > users of Debian!  I'm surprised that folks on this list are
> >> > comfortable with such strong choice-of-law provisions.  Again, I don't
> >> > believe such clauses are non-free, but I believe I've heard the
> >> > argument made before. (A license has got to be interpreted under laws
> >> > somewhere...  might as well establish the laws prior to the agreement
> >> > instead of fighting it out in court.)
> >>
> >> I was under the impression that choice-of-law was OK for most, but
> >> choice-of-venue  was cause for non-DFSG-ness.
> >
> > Like I said, I'm not convinced.  If there is a suit, the suit must be
> > brought somewhere...  what is non-free about deciding that somewhere
> > ahead of time? Inconvenient to you?  Maybe.  But as I undersatnd it,
> > being sued is always inconvenient, regardless of where the suit will be
> > brought.  I hardly consider that descrimination, so what DFSG clause is
> > applicable here?
> In contrast to choice of law, choice of venue requires users who are
> not normally subject to that court's personal jurisdiction to give up
> a right they normally have to use the software.  Take your pick
> whether that is discrimination or a fee or something else, but waiver
> of pre-existing rights is a clear violation of the spirit of the DFSG.

How is that descrimination or a fee?  Someone earlier mentioned that right to 
a jury trial is protected by the DFSG?!  Seriously people, we are talking 
about software here.  I personally subscribe to the four freedoms staked out 
by FSF.  I understand that Debian has extended those freedoms in certain 
areas with the DFSG, and in ways that I agree make sense, but reading in 
rights to a jury trial or a right to have only personal jurisdiction within 
the state/country of residence is just not one of them.

But, if I grant your point, and accept that the DFSG protects my right to all 
those things, why doesn't it invalidate licenses that waive liability to the 
distributor?  Isn't that my inaliable right... a fee I must pay in order to 
use the software...  aren't I being descriminated against to the benefit of 
the developer and distributor.  Its an outrage, its unexusable...  but it is 
the way it is, and I fail to see a distinction between libability waivers, 
venue clauses, or rights to jury trials.


Sean Kellogg
3rd Year - University of Washington School of Law
Graduate & Professional Student Senate Treasurer
UW Service & Activities Committee Interim Chair 
w: http://probonogeek.blogspot.com

So, let go
 ...Jump in
  ...Oh well, what you waiting for?
   ...it's all right
    ...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

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