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

David Nusinow writes:

> On Fri, Sep 16, 2005 at 03:53:56PM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
>> Adam McKenna writes:
>> > The copyright holder can sue users (or even random people off the street, for
>> > that matter) whether he put a choice of venue clause in his license or not.
>> Please go back and read the rest of this thread, since your arguments
>> were previously made and countered.  You argue that since choice of
>> venue is a small (or putatively reasonable) cost or form of
>> discrimination, it can be ignored; the DFSG do not allow that.
> I don't feel that this argument was ever effectively countered. There's no
> explicit cost or discrimination such as "send me five dollars" or "no
> black people can use this software". Because of this, the argument is hazy.

Taking this line of argument to an extreme, the DFSG only prohibits
royalties or fees for copying the software.  There is no explicit DFSG
freedom to use or modify the software without paying a fee.  Still, I
think that the DFSG mean to prohibit fees for any of use, modification
or redistribution of the software.  There is a debatable area around
copyleft requirements, but when a cost is unrelated to the software
itself, it does not seem defensible.  (In hopes of avoiding a side
debate, I think GPL-style copyleft is entirely appropriate.)

Choice of venue imposes costs on those who would not normally be
subject to that venue, although the cost is very hard to quantify a
priori.  From my own experience, I cannot agree with those who think
the marginal cost is a negligible one.  So far, the arguments that it
is a necessary or acceptable cost have not been convincing, since they
allege benefits to the copyright owner rather than to the users, and
free software is not about what is good for copyright owners.

Michael Poole

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