Subject: Re: Which license to use for MFC based software?
From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 01:34:30 -0400

Stephen C. North scripsit:

> And if legal action isn't possible, then the contract actually
> has no teeth?

A fine question.  My father wrote an essay about it called "Law without
Force", published in a Festschrift for Hans Kelsen (a typical joke
of my father's, considering that he was blatantly opposing Kelsen's
legal-positivist view of the matter).

To summarize his argument, we all of us go through life making and
breaking endless legal contracts, cursing innumerable defective products,
engaging in sales, bailments, mortgages, and other legal events -- and yet
most of us never sue or are sued.  The sheriff that, according to Oliver
Wendell Holmes Jr., stood behind all of this is, in my father's words,
"a rank metaphysical spook".

Enforcement of a contract represents the failure of that contract, as
divorce represents the failure of marriage.  Successful contracts and
marriages never see a courtroom.

-- 
John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  www.reutershealth.com  ccil.org/~cowan
Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos          --Lithuanian proverb
Deus dedit dentes; deus dabit panem             --Latin version thereof
Deity donated dentition;
  deity'll donate doughnuts                     --English version by Muke Tever
God gave gums; God'll give granary              --Version by Mat McVeagh
--
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