Subject: Re: DRAFT: OSL version 3.0
From: Alex Bligh <alex@alex.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 10:03:29 +0100

Lawrence,


> * I did not agree to the proposal for section 11 ["Jurisdiction, Venue and
> Governing Law"]. I am biased against any license language that is specific
> to any country. Are we certain that it is necessary, for example, to even
> mention Belgian law? I can see this section 11 quickly becoming a
> hodge-podge of country-specific language that merely confuses everyone
> involved. Frankly, instead of incorporating confusing wording specific to
> their local laws, I'd rather tell these unique countries that they can't
> use my open source software. To be fair, I am even willing to remove the
> specific reference in that section to the U.S. Copyright Act if someone
> can propose equally-understandable language.

I was going to say that their suggestion of tying the law to Belgium
was completely daft. However, it appears what they are trying to do
is to produce a license which suits the EU for development of its
own software, and they suggest that a license should normally be
under the jurisdiction of where the initial developer does their
business, so I can see where they are coming from. However, I think
they are wrong. If there is one institution which should be capable
of coping with multiple legal jurisdictions, it should be the EU.
I think your stance is correct. Further, we should be trying to
create generalist reusable licenses, and these should not be tied
to specific jurisdictions.

Re removing the USC reference, why not just "requirements and
penalties prescribed by the laws of the relevant jurisdiction(s)
and international treaty" (or similar).

Also, I see you have modified section 8 (it now reads much like
the OVPL mod to the CDDL). Would you consider a similar modification
to section 7? The risk here is (as I understand it) that certain
jurisdictions prevent total (or very wide) disclaimer from warranty
as unfair. That would risk voiding the sentence starting "Except as
expressly stated". The problem then is that the remainder of
the clause essentially provides that no license is given under
such circumstances. If one accepts there is a risk that the sentence
starting "Except" could be struck in certain jurisdictions, this makes
the license extremely unattractive in those jurisdictions. Is it
possible to make the exclusion of warranty only effect to the extent
permitted by law?

Alex