[License-review] CeCILL license V2.1 for Approval

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Mon Apr 2 22:28:37 UTC 2012

John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> writes:
>>   "The Agreement is drafted in both French and English and both
>>   versions are deemed authentic."
>>   I've seen this kind of clause before, but am unclear on what it
>>   means if there is a disagreement between the two versions.
>Such a case is in principle no different from a single-language text
>that is ambiguous.  The court must use whatever mechanisms it normally
>uses to resolve ambiguity: it may not discard the French text simply
>because it prefers to use English, nor vice versa, but must take them
>both into account. [...]

Thanks, John -- that was exactly the explanation I needed.


>If there is no way to reconcile the two (in one Hong Kong case, the
>English version of a law made it an offense to do something that *may*
>cause damage of a particular kind, whereas the Chinese version omitted
>"may"), the court will look to such factors as the intent of the drafters,
>which language(s) were used during the original drafting as working
>languages and which were added later by translation, and so on.
>This sort of thing goes on all the time in bilingual countries such as
>Canada, and in all national courts that have to interpret treaties
>and U.N. conventions.

More information about the License-review mailing list