(U.S. only) state government question

Alex Bligh alex at alex.org.uk
Wed Feb 16 22:05:56 UTC 2005

--On 16 February 2005 15:09 -0500 John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com> 

>> Greetings.  A state government employee would like to license certain
>> open source software, but believes it is impossible because its OSI
>> approved license (specifically, the CPL) specifies a different state (in
>> this case the State of New York) as the jurisdiction for legal claims.
>> The employee says, one state can't be bound by the laws of another.
> The simplest approach is to ask the licensor for an alternative license.
> Since the CPL is a non-reciprocal license, there is no particular reason
> why the licensor shouldn't grant the State its own license.

I am not especially familiar with US law, but if the license is interpreted
as a contract to license (& perhaps otherwise), and the jurisdiction clause
is prohibited, I see no particular reason why it shouldn't be considered
severable and the license then would fall under the jurisdiction mandated
by whatever statute mandates the above principle (so presumably the
jurisdiction of the contracting state).

Another question stemming from unfamiliarity with US law: is there a
confusion here between governing law, and jurisdiction?


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