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

Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> writes:
> 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.

I think this is using the discrimination bit far too broadly.  I think
it's important to avoid over-using that clause of the DFSG, as it's very
easy to reword almost anything you don't like as discrimination.  E.g.,
the GPL discriminates against those who want to take software
proprietary.  The BSD licenses discriminate against those who have a
debilitating phobia of the letters "BSD".

>> 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.

Adobe can harass people by claiming they broke the license without
choice of venue clauses.  What difference does it make that you have to
buy an airplane ticket (or maybe just your lawyer does, I don't know --
maybe you can just hire a local lawyer), if you're already having to pay
your legal fees and hire a lawyer?

>> 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.

Yes, but (as you point out in your pine example) that can happen
regardless of license.  There are some things we simply can't protect

The argument against choice-of-venue that I've heard is that it might be
a choice that has strange or restrictive law that heavily favors the
copyright holder.  As far as I know (and I haven't read the whole
thread) no one's making that argument about California.  And to a
certain extent, a nations laws always are able to remove freedoms that
free software would like to permit, and there's not a lot we can do
about it.  Let's not tilt at windmills here.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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