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Re: [Fwd: Debian and CDDL and DFSG]

Martin Man writes:

> Hi all,
> MJ Ray wrote On 2006-08-09 11:56,:
>> Martin Man <Martin.Man@Sun.COM> wrote:
>>> I could find only a lot of FUD and inconsistencies on various blogs
>>> wrt/ "choice of venue" paragraph present in CDDL.
>> Different people have different opinions.  That should not surprise
>> anyone.
>> We are not a group-think corporation presenting a party line.
> fair enough, but if ftpmasters decide on inclusion/exclusion of
> certain software, there should at least be common consensus concerting
> certain license.

This would be ideal, but neither law nor the DFSG are as repeatable as
computer programs, so they are subject to reasonable disagreements.

>> I don't think you should dismiss the venue problem as mere FUD so quickly.
>> For a licensor as big as Sun to require developers to travel thousands of
>> miles apparently on a whim is at best abusive and at worst a fee.  If
>> people are misunderstanding the venue clause (remember, U is uncertainty),
>> then please explain, not flame.
> I do understand it in this way:
> - c-o-v as required by paragraph 9. of CDDL is "a note attached to the
> license itself", to my understanding you can put there any
> jurisdiction you want (you "as the author or contributor"), and yes,
> it's there to predict and ensure that case will be treated properly
> (according to the state of law in a jurisdiction you put to the clause)
> - GPL does not have such c-o-v clause at all, which means that I can
> take anyone to any court I decide to, so to me, if I want to sue you,
> GPL gives me even more chance to manipulate the case and choose the
> jurisdiction that will give me most advantages in my case.

There are existing rules about proper venue and jurisdiction that
generally protect defendants against having to appear in places they
have no regular or relevant presence.  (At the least, the rules make
it much easier to have such a lawsuit dismissed for improper venue.)
The objection to c-o-v clauses is that they remove this kind of

I believe the general consensus is that c-o-v clauses are acceptable
if they limit themselves to lawsuits naming the licensor as defendant,
since those do not expose licensees to any adverse effects.

In contrast, choice-of-law clauses are useful because they provide a
frame of reference and set of definitions for terms of art.  It is
possible that certain choices of law would be non-free, but so far
that is more an academic concern than actual.

Michael Poole

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