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Re: BitTorrent Open Source License (Proposed Changes)

On 8/1/05, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> I have not meant to equate DFSG freeness with what can go into Debian,
> but DFSG freeness is an important threshold issue.  If my messages
> misled on that point, I apologize.  There are other factors to
> consider, but this thread was originally about which changes were
> necessary to make the BitTorrent Open Source License DFSG-free, and I
> meant only to address that question.

Fair enough.  :-)  But be aware that, if you are in the US and Burger
King v. Rudzewicz is any guide, negotiating the terms with the
licensor does more to bring you, and anyone on whose behalf you can be
said to be negotiating, into the personal jurisdiction of their home
state than a "choice of venue" clause ever could.  It makes it a lot
more likely that the loser-pays and waiver-of-jury-trial provisions
will stick.  (Looks like waiver-of-jury-trial was cut from the latest
draft; but there's also that "can't construe against the drafter"
garbage.)  It guarantees that the Section 4c language about adding
notice of effect on third-party IP rights will tangle with the
Song-Beverly Act and Ninth Circuit law on vicarious liability and
indemnification.  You may not think that you are negotiating on legal
issues, just "freeness" -- but no court will see it that way.

Myself, I would no more redistribute a peer-to-peer client offered
under a license like BitTorrent's than I would play Russian Roulette
with a loaded Uzi.  But YMMV.

- Michael

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