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Re: CDDL, OpenSolaris, Choice-of-venue and the star package ...

Matthew Garrett writes:

> Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:
>> Scripsit Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
>>> Without the licensors, there is no commons. Without an ability to
>>> enforce licenses, the concept of copyleft becomes pointless.
>> You seem to assert that licenses cannot be enforces unless the
>> licensor gets carte blanche to harrass licensees with frivolous
>> lawsuits. That is not reality.
> The licensor *already* has carte blanche to harrass licensees with
> fivolous lawsuits. The only thing that changes are the costs.

This seems remarkably similar to the argument "The user has carte
blanche to exercise DFSG freedoms; the only thing that a use fee
changes are the costs."  Does that mean that DFSG#1 allows fees for
all users of software?

At least in the US, it is fairly cheap (<$10k, predominantly in lawyer
fees) to have a lawsuit with improper venue dismissed, and those costs
can often be awarded to the defendant.  Even if costs are not awarded,
the US's Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (to wit, FRCP 41(d)) can
have the judge order the plaintiff to pay for previously dismissed
actions before further hearing any sufficiently similar action.

>> Do you think that the GPL and the BSD licenses are both pointless?
> I think that a copyleft license is utterly pointless if there's no way
> for the licensor to be able to afford to sue infringers. You might as
> well just have released the code into the public domain.
>>> And, hence, discriminate against rich ones?
>> We *should* discriminate against software whose authors wants the
>> right to order all users and distributors to travel around the globe
>> on their whim. Such harassment has nothing at all to do with software
>> freedom.
> But the freedom to be able to enforce the requirements of a software
> license *does* have something to do with software freedom. There are
> always tradeoffs.

Would you prefer an OSL-style license based on a contract where the
distributor(s) explicitly agree to provide source code to the
licensee, handing enforcement ability to all licensees?

Michael Poole

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