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

Anthony W. Youngman writes:

> In message <20070604080423.GA2236@dario.dodds.net>, Steve Langasek
> <vorlon@debian.org> writes
>>On Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 09:33:12PM +0100, Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
>>> I'm in the UK, and if I wasn't but the choice of venue specified
>>> "England and Wales", I'd probably have a very nice holiday at the
>>> copyright holder's expense :-)
>>> Look at SCOG and how they got dealt with in Germany ...
>>What license did SCOG have that specified Germany as a choice of venue?
> They didn't.
> But they made loads of noise about how linux infringed their
> copyrights. One complaint to a court by an infuriated linux developer,
> and one injunction and fine later, they shut up shop.
> I think that took less than six months. Look at where we are now in
> the US - four or five years later and still going strong ...

There are several points that can be made here:

(1) If I recall correctly, SCO's speaker was from the US and probably
did not get advice from German legal counsel on what to say.  Such an
injunction is almost impossible to get in the US due to differences in
free speech laws.  Copyright laws tend to be more uniform thanks to
the Berne Convention and UCC.  Because SCO's questionable behavior in
Germany was commercial speech rather than anything related to
copyright, the contrasts or similarities may not give that much
insight into how free software licenses should work.

(2) This is an example of how normal rules on venue can reach results
preferable to those under unilaterally selected or convenient venue
(since SCO would love to have all its lawsuits venued in Utah).

Michael Poole

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