Strange clauses in the Twidroid license

Martin Vilcans martin at
Tue Jun 8 21:08:59 UTC 2010

Thanks for the reply.

On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 6:29 PM, Joe Bell <joe.bell at> wrote:
> In the former case, there is no issue.  In the latter case by
> disclaiming (not fulfilling) the obligations they are implying that the
> default case exists, which is copyright.  Under copyright, however, they
> would have no rights to copy, modify, or distribute, so rather than be
> in violation of a contract (the license), they would be in violation of
> copyright law [St. Laurent, Understanding Open Source & Free Software
> Licensing, First Edition, 152].  So, in short, there is no real loophole
> here, it is "self-closing" in the case where someone disclaims the
> obligations.

Yes, there shouldn't be a loophole. The Twidroid license is governed
by Austrian law, which may make a difference, perhaps.

> Finally, regarding their Infringement clause, given the commercial
> nature of the license, it is not surprising and is actually a benefit to
> licensees.  It is basically saying that if for some reason or another it
> is determined that the software somehow infringes on another third
> party's rights that they will at their discretion supply to you, the
> user, a way to continue using the infringing software (this could be
> interpreted to mean they arrange with the third party that right),
> supply you with a version that is not infringing, or barring those two
> options, provide a refund for any license fees you have paid (covering
> the corporate version of the license).  Note the phrase "without
> obligation and at its sole discretion" - this is somewhat troubling,
> though there may be legal precedent to show that they are compelled to
> provide one of these options (one would have to consult a lawyer on this
> one).

One might wonder what kind of infringement they are referring to. It
could be anything of course, not related to copyleft.

The weirdest part is of course "Under no circumstances shall source
code of Twidroid be made available to you by tomatic." I can't think
of a reason to put that clause in the license except if trying to
avoid a copyleft license.


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