Subject: RE: which country's law?
From: Rod Dixon <rodd@cyberspaces.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 17:34:04 -0400 (EDT)

You have asked a terribly complex question. Two issues are at stake: what
body of law might apply to a dispute over your software AND where might
you be haled in to court. In other words the answer depends on
choice-of-law rules and jurisdiction over the defendant ...(not to
mention
any treaty that might be relevant if the tranaction is transborder). A
license need
not specify either answer, but doiong so MIGHT help. In the United states,
personal jurisdiction is a matter of state law and federal constitutional
law. Hence, the provision in a license MAY not be dispositive, although
often it is. In my opinion, the bottom line is  if one is engaged in
electronic commerce, it
is prudent to cover these issues in the license.

On Thu, 21 Jun 2001, SamBC wrote:

> IANAL, but my understanding, at least here in the UK, is that when no
> jurisdiction is specified the licensee may choose. I could easily be wrong,
> but that is what have previously been lead to believe.
>
>
> Sam Barnett-Cormack
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Paul Reilly [mailto:paul.reilly@3glab.com]
> > Sent: 21 June 2001 17:21
> > To: license-discuss@opensource.org
> > Subject: GPL: which country's law?
> >
> >
> > I speak as a systems integrator, located in the United Kingdom.
> >
> > Unless I've missed something, the GPL V2 doesn't specify in which
> > country's
> > courts any dispute should be heard. (By comparison, the Mozilla PL
> > specifies the courts of California; QPL specifies Norway, and so on).
> >
> > Has anyone looked at where that leaves a systems integrator
> > outside the US
> > who builds a product using, say, an American distribution of Linux? There
> > are a number of issues:
> >
> >   - If I want my own legal advisors to research GPL for the purpose of
> > compatibility with our own business model, should that be against the
> > framework of UK law, or is only US law relevant?
> >
> >   - Secondly (and this applies to US companies too), if I create
> > a product
> > which in some way incorporates GPL code (whether that 'incorporation' be
> > very loose or very tight), and then I export it (maybe worldwide) what
> > country's laws am I subject to? Could a customer in country X decide that
> > his laws should apply, and choose to interpret GPL accordingly,
> > possibly to
> > my serious disadvantage? The GPL only mentions the case of
> > countries where
> > use of a program might be restricted by patents or copyright, but it
> > doesn't unfortunately cover the case where a country's courts might
> > interpret the linking (static vs dynamic) issue very differently
> > from the US.
> >
> > Could I get round this by creating some sort of wrapper around
> > the GPL that
> > fills this vacuum and positively defines the country of law?
> >
> > Many thanks,
> > Paul Reilly
> > 3G LAB Ltd, Cambridge, UK
> >
> >
>
>