Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Mar 17 05:58:28 UTC 2008

Bruce Perens scripsit:

> >On your view, we should either review such a license against all legal 
> >systems, or else abstain from legal reasoning altogether.
> OSI has legal counsel that is admitted to the bar in California. 
> Obviously it can't provide the resources to review all jurisdictions. 
> But I am not at all clear that it has the resources to review even /one/ 
> that isn't California. I think it generally reviews the license and 
> doesn't look very deeply into the venue. So, maybe it shouldn't be 
> certifying that part.

(The venue -- what court has jurisdiction -- isn't the issue here; it's
the law that that court is being asked to apply.  Some courts won't
apply the law specified in a choice-of-law clause, in which case the
clause is nugatory.)

On that view, either OSI should only certify licenses for use within
California (where the choice of law will most likely be California
law), or else should only certify licenses that specify California law.
In either case, OSI wouldn't have much business.

Nor can the choice of law be simply dismissed as unreviewable -- that
would re-create the polysemy that appears when there is no choice of
law clause.

John Cowan  cowan at
[P]olice in many lands are now complaining that local arrestees are insisting
on having their Miranda rights read to them, just like perps in American TV
cop shows.  When it's explained to them that they are in a different country,
where those rights do not exist, they become outraged.  --Neal Stephenson

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