Subject: RE: jurisdiction and venue
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 20:06:55 -0700

Ned Lilly asked:
> Why can't the licenses just have jurisdiction and venue as a fill-in,
> like some other items you see in Exhibits and such?  I can see the
> perils of being silent on the question, but I would think that it's not
> unreasonable for a company based in New York, say, to want to choose New
> York law and courts.

Several OSI-approved licenses already have general-purpose jurisdiction and
venue provisions. See, e.g., Open Software License (OSL 3.0) section 11, at
http://opensource.org/licenses/osl-3.0.php. 

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242 * cell: 707-478-8932 * fax: 707-485-1243
Skype: LawrenceRosen
Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and 
                Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ned Lilly [mailto:ned@openmfg.com]
> Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 7:53 PM
> To: Matthew Garrett
> Cc: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: jurisdiction and venue
> 
> Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > On Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 10:38:48PM -0400, Russ Nelson wrote:
> >> Ned Lilly writes:
> >>  > Are you permitted to change the jurisdiction and/or venue in an
> >>  > OSI-approved license?  For example, if I wanted to use the new
> >>  > CPAL, I see that it is governed by California law, and the venue
> >>  > for any litigation would be Santa Clara County.
> >>
> >> No, you can't change it.  The license author expects their language to
> >> be construed according to California law and the District Court that
> >> Santa Clara lies in.
> >
> > If the license is itself under a free license, I don't see why altering
> > the choice of jurisdiction/venue would be a problem. Of course, changes
> > in legal interpretation might render the license unworkable or impose
> > restrictions that would make it impossible to comply with the OSD. But
> > that's hardly a given.
> 
> That would be my instinct as well, Matthew, but I appreciate Russ'
> response.
> 
> If that's the official position of OSI, I fear it's the kind of thing
> that can lead to license proliferation, and lack of adoption of
> OSI-certified licenses.
> 
> Why can't the licenses just have jurisdiction and venue as a fill-in,
> like some other items you see in Exhibits and such?  I can see the
> perils of being silent on the question, but I would think that it's not
> unreasonable for a company based in New York, say, to want to choose New
> York law and courts.
> 
> Having said that, it's important to us to use an OSI-certified license,
> so we'll roll with it.  But if this is the kind of thing that's of
> interest to anyone else, I'd welcome the chance to talk about it, and
> perhaps revisit the question in future revisions...
> 
> Thanks,
> Ned