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Re: Request for suggestions of DFSG-free documentation licences

Jordi Gutierrez Hermoso writes:

> On 05/06/07, MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:
>> > Small excerpts (e.g. an Emacs reference card from the Emacs info docs)
>> > are probably covered under Fair Use. [...]
>> This is England calling.
> Would the FSF have to sue under US law or UK law an offender in the
> UK? I'm genuinely ignorant about this issue.

The usual rule on personal jurisdiction in civil suits is that a suit
must be filed where (a) the defendant(s) reside, (b) where the alleged
tort took place or (c) in some place that the parties agreed would
have jurisdiction.  Neither the GPL nor GFDL have a choice-of-venue
clause, so (c) would not apply.  If the courts in (a) decline to
enforce judgments made by the courts in (b), then for practical
reasons a plaintiff would be advised to file in (a).

Similarly, the applicable law would be (a) the law of the court
hearing the case or (b) a set of law that the parties agreed to use.
Neither the GPL nor GFDL have a choice-of-law clause, so (b) does not

So, under the usual rules, a prospective plaintiff would have to sue a
UK resident in UK courts under UK law.  (IANAL, TINLA, and usual rules
have seldom stopped sufficiently determined plaintiffs in the past.)

>> poison pill invariant sections
> Huh? Poison pill?

Poison pills are clauses or sections that make it impractical to do
certain things.  The GFDL's definition of "Secondary Section" permit a
variety of poison pills, as other potential publishers or distributors
might see them.

>> and inability to fix some sections.
> What do you want to fix? The reasons for why free software needs free
> documentation or would you like to fix the suggestions on how to give
> funds to the FSF? You think you know better than the FSF what funds
> the FSF needs?
> Since invariant sections can't be about technical matters, I really
> fail to see what non-technical aspects could possibly need to be
> "fixed".

Invariant sections could have factual references that are inaccurate
or become outdated.  The FSF's mailing address is one example of GPL
boilerplate that has changed several times; I have no idea if people
include that or any similar information in invariant sections.

I looked at the Emacs manual[1] to check, but -- contrary to the usage
recommendation contained in the FDL itself -- could not find a
statement as to whether it contains any invariant sections.

[1]- http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/emacs.html

Michael Poole

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