[License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11

Joshua Gay j.gay at ieee.org
Sun Feb 21 20:17:58 UTC 2021


On Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 11:28 AM J. Ritchey <x1x2c3+osi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Because the license is designed to be short, it doesn't define terms (eg:
> "lawful"). Instead it binds to a jurisdiction to set precedence for how a
> term may be interpreted. For example the Copyright Act itself uses the
> terms lawful, unlawful, and lawfully. So does the Criminal Code. The term
> lawful is also used in the Constitution Acts going back as far as 1867.
> It's important to note that none of these define the term either, but they
> are citable examples of established use. In comparable licenses which don't
> bind to a jurisdiction, or include definitions, a term might seem clear to
> the reader, and then be interpreted differently by the law, especially if
> the licensor, and licensee are from different places. In this instance,
> lawful would seem to mean permitted by law which is the intent. As for what
> actions would be considered lawful, that would depend on what is being
> licensed, because that determines which laws are relevant. If you're using
> the license on a copyrighted work then the Copyright Act would be
> applicable to what is lawful. On a patented work the Patent Act would be.
> Etc. You do raise a good point though that it's questionable whether the
> license is actually extending rights defined in such acts, or merely
> reminding people they have to adhere to them.

At this point in the conversation, you are now explaining how courts would
interpret the term "lawful" when reading this license in response to
statements made by some of the most experienced and best lawyers in the
area of intellectual property law in the world.

That is fine, especially if there is merit to your argument, and IANAL and
I don't pretend to be. I just wanted to make sure you understood your
audience as your explanations could easily be read as condescending and
authoritative, and I am not sure if that is your intent.


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