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Re: [Fwd: Debian and CDDL and DFSG]

On Wed, 09 Aug 2006, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Marcel Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:
> > I do not understand why you need choice of venue.  Unless we know how 
> > that venue treats absent defendants, any ambiguous terms in the licence 
> > and some other things, it looks rather like a licensor trying to get 
> > some advantage, such as being able to use their usual legal team against 
> > a smaller defendant and stopping that defendant being judged by their 
> > own state's people when appropriate.  As you note, it isn't usual for 
> > free software licences to specify venue, as there are other agreements 
> > which do that.  Why is choice of venue needed?
> (Small copyright holder with limited resources, large company with no 
> business presence in copyright holder's state, copyright violation, but 
> I think we've had this conversation before)

The choice of venue won't do anything to help in the cases where you
allege a copyright violation, unless you also allege a license
violation where the violator agreed to the license. 

If you're a small company going after a big company and the case is
clear cut enough to be worth persuing, there are attorneys who will
fight for commission, so even that isn't particularly useful. [Plus,
we're generally talking about Free Software here, so the ultimate goal
of any court challenge is (or should be) compliance, not renumeration.
In those battles the SFLC and similar groups are quite capable of
helping without the need of choice of venue.]

As a final note, the only clearly legitimate case for choice of venue
is for defensive purposes, where the licensor is the defendant; but
for copyright, patents, etc. the plantiff won't have agreed to the
license, so the clause is almost useless. [I suppose it may give you
added protection against claims of negligence and similar, but that's
about it.]

Don Armstrong

Identical parts aren't.
 -- Beach's Law

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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