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

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Tue Apr 3 19:40:52 UTC 2012

On Mon, Apr 02, 2012 at 06:16:35PM -0400, John Cowan wrote:
> Karl Fogel scripsit:
> >   "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.
> 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.

It seems, then, that to qualify as an open source license it would need
to do so not only in both languages but in any mix of conditions where
the two disagree, to account for possible interpretations in court.  That
sounds like a mess to try to untangle.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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