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Re: Adobe open source license -- is this licence free?

On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:42:22AM +1100, Andrew Donnellan wrote:
> On 1/26/06, Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:
> > In a nutshell, this choice of venue discriminates against people who
> > live far away from Santa Clara County, California, USA and thus fail
> > DFSG#5. Those people can be forced to travel around the planet in order
> > to defend themselves in a dispute raised by the copyright holder.
> Personally I think choice of venue clauses are reasonable, because it
> only discriminates against those who have broken the license.

No, it discriminates against those who Adobe claims have broken the
license.  That's completely different.

> Also I don't think Adobe is going to sue you for a minor violation.

This is called the "tentacles of evil" test: the license must be free,
even if the copyright holder becomes hostile.  Even if the copyright
holder has an upstanding legal reputation, the license can't depend on
that; copyright and companies can change hands.

They could, for example, interpret the license in an unexpected or contrived
way (as, for example, UWash did with Pine), and sue users (which, for clarity,
UW didn't do, AFAIK).  In that case, choice of venue clauses may place an
undue burden on licensees; even if the interpretation doesn't hold up in
court, they have to travel to prove it.

Glenn Maynard

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