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Re: Who can make binding legal agreements




"John Goerzen" <jgoerzen@complete.org> wrote in message 20060607141145.GB11291@excelhustler.com">news:20060607141145.GB11291@excelhustler.com...
On Tue, Jun 06, 2006 at 09:05:20PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
I think these are all very reasonable statements.  Not being an
ftp-master, it's not really my decision to make, but my personal opinion
is that the above is good advice and the closer we can make the
relationship between SPI's lawyer and the ftp-master evaluation of
questionable licensing, the less I'll worry about weird license clauses
and questionable provisions.

I wholeheartedly agree with that.  In fact, you've summed up my position
here better than I have.  If we can all work closely together, we can
avoid legal risks *and* misunderstandings and flames.

SPI could be sheilded from lawsuits such as the one you seem to be worried about, by personally indemnifying SPI for the distribution
of packages that they have approved.  Perhaps that is a good idea.


I can imagine how confused a judge could get in a lawsuit involving Debian. After all the project looks and acts much like it is some form of legal entity, but it is not. SPI is the primary legal entity, but it for the most part only holds resources for this non-(legal entity). The hudge would have to look at the debian constitution, and try to decide if that is in any way binding. After all it is binding within the Project, with enforcement occuring within the project. In that manner Debian almost acts like an unrecognized nation.

Anyway, it seems entirely possible that a judge could rule that Debian is indeed a legal entity, with the constitution acting as the articles of incorporation, and the bylaws consisting of the GR's.


Of course, tha above is not likely to happen, and hopefully a judge will never need to make even a single ruling on a case involving Debian.


OT: Is there any chance that Pixar (now Disney) could still be seen as a legal entity in some way resonsible for Debian? After all debian began with close ties to Pixar.



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