[License-review] veto against Unlicence

jonathon jonathon.blake at gmail.com
Fri May 15 19:28:39 UTC 2020

On 5/15/20 12:46 PM, Pamela Chestek wrote:

> Yes, but Thorston's objection is based purely on the premise that the
> additional license language will be completely and utterly ignored by a
> court, which is what I don't agree with and haven't seen any lawyer
> ratify. If I wrote "I'm making a gift of my house in exchange for
> $100,000," is a court going to say "no, no, no, you used the word
> 'gift,' so therefore the donee doesn't have to pay!" I don't think so, I
> assume any court would recognize that the person using the word "gift"
> didn't actually mean the word in its legal sense and would enforce the
> agreement as a sale. I am waiting to hear from any lawyer in any
> jurisdiction who says that a court will entirely ignore the clear intent
> of the document, instead apply a legal definition, and then void the
> document entirely because the clearly expressed intent of the grantor
> wasn't consistent with the legal definition. I assume it is a universal
> legal principle that courts are to try to ascertain as best they can,
> and then enforce, the intention of the parties (the grantor in this
> case), not ignore it completely. It's abundantly clear here what the
> grantor intends.

What courts do, can be strange.

By way of example, in South Africa, during the Apartheid Era, if a 15
year old male raped a 25 year old female, the female was the person who
went to jail, not the male. That unfortunate result was due to several
quirks in South African law, the most blatant being that a male under
the age of 16 was legally incapable of having sexual intercourse.
(South Africa basically follows a variant of Roman-Dutch Law)

Second example, from the United States. A will specifically states that
an individual shall receive nothing from the deceased, nor may anybody
who receives anything from the estate, may transfer it to the
individual. The deceased had relatedly told all and sundry that the
individual would never see a penny from him, from any source. However,
if the deceased had an insurance policy, in which the individual was a
beneficiary, the individual shall receive the portion of the insurance
policy, to which the policy states is theirs.
(The United States basically follows a variant of British Common Law.)

Without a deep knowledge of both case law and statute law, what courts
will decide, can be unexpected. As such, I wouldn't dismiss concerns
about wording, punctuation, or anything else, when it comes to what a
court will decide.

I am not a lawyer.
This is not legal advice.


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