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Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:27:13AM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> The troll checklist:

Heh. Free advice: the best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them.

> Anthony Towns writes:
> > The debian-legal checklist:
> > On Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 11:28:22AM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> > Posted by a non-DD, non-maintainer and non-applicant: Check.
> Ad hominem attack: Check.  

I'm sorry, but I don't get why anyone considers that an ad hominem attack.
> > Confident assertion of legal facts, with little basis, no references,
> > and without an "IANAL" disclaimer, or "I am a lawyer and this is legal
> > advice", or a "I am a lawyer but this does not constitute legal advice":
> > Check
> Blatant and proud ignorance of the field: Check, check and check.  (I
> am not a lawyer.  Under US law, [...])

Uh, dude, "IANAL" is a way of indicating that you may not actually have
a clue what you're talking about because it's all just amateur opinions.
Once upon a time -legal used to be littered with it; now days the concept
that regular posters to -legal might be mistaken seems to be rather alien.

> >> As has been previously discussed on -legal -- several times, I might
> >> add -- there are a variety of reasons that the rest your argument is
> >> flawed.  
> > Condescending dismissal of arguments: Check.
> I was -- and am -- in no mood to repeat the full reasons for these
> positions for the fourth or fifth time.  If you cannot bother to read
> the archives, that is your loss.

See, given that as an ftpmaster I'm one of the folks who actually
implements the policy on what's accepted into main or not, it's not my
loss at all.

> > 	4. they need to demonstrate jurisdiction (which should be
> > 	   relatively easy even without a choice of venue clause,
> > 	   because Debian operates globally anyway: in the Berlin case
> > 	   ffis would be a potential target, I'd imagine)

> Debian's global activities do not in general affect jurisidiction over
> individuals, so (4) primarily applies to Debian rather than its
> developers or end users.

The CDDL primarily applies to Debian rather than end-users anyway, being
about distribution and development (at least in so far as we distribute
CDDL software anyway)...

In any event, the example Don raised specifically talked about Debian
being the respondent.

> Nitpick: The plaintiff would need to issue a summons to the defendant.
> A subpoena is for testimony or other fact discovery[1].  A defendant
> does not become a respondent until he responds to a particular
> filing[1]; the plaintiff would usually also be a respondent to certain
> motions[1].
> [1]- Ask Wikipedia, Google, or whatever floats your boat.  These are
> not obscure legal facts or specific instances, they are basic terms.
> Would you take someone seriously who had strong programming opinions
> but thought "CC" was the name of a C compiler or claimed to know the
> Pearl _scripting_ language?

It's interesting that you started the mail offended about the "ad hominem
attack" of noting you're not a developer; yet somehow you think a computer
expert who tries to avoid paying attention to legal arguments getting
"subpoena" and "summons" confused is an ignoramus who shouldn't be
taken seriously.

And that is exactly an ad hominem fallacy -- attacking the person in
order to discredit their arguments, even though the flaws the person
may have don't actually affect their argument.

The argument which, I'll note that you didn't actually address at all.

> How many free software licenses have been enforced thanks to choice of
> venue?  

It doesn't matter, simplicity isn't a requirement for freeness.

> Not all "drawbacks" are "shifted costs".  The effect of choice of
> venue is to shift a significant potential cost from the software
> licensor to the software's users.  

Disclaimers of warranty and liability do that too.


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