Jan Kulveit wrote:
the problem is, country laws may prescribe specific requirements
for contractual agreements, or licenses, not fullfilled by GFDL. E.g.
-a contract must consist of an offer and an acceptation. An offer
has to be directed (not "You,...")
-the acceptation is valid in the moment, when the autor recieves
some notice about acceptation (impossible in GFDL)
-specific requirements for licenses, e.g. written form, explicit
mentioning the license is not payed etc.
For example, in the Czech Republic, few years ago, GPL (and also
GFDL) was probably contradicting both copyright law and contract
laws. Now the copyright law changed and contract laws are going to
change, and legal situation is unclear. In practice, nobody cares
about the law and GPL and GFDL is respected.
The safest way how to avoid legal nightmare is to route all legal
issues to the US.
What's interesting, it would still be possible to have mirror
servers in Czechia under Czech law, even if the legal status of the
content is unclear. CZ has special law "about services of
information society", and part of the law explicitely exempts
"caching" from much of the copyright liability. AFAIK major part
of the law was inherited from EU directives, thus it schould
be possible to have mirror/cache/... servers in most EU countries
without necessity to comply with their copyright laws.
While I would agree some portions of contract law in different countries
might not specifically permit something like the GPL, it is still a
protection in the sense that in those countries where the GPL or GFDL is
not permitted that the content simply become sealed and propritary.
That is not an ideal situation, but it does protect people unless
copyright is simply ignored altogether (like China.... well at least in
the past and somewhat in the present). I think larger problems would be
issues like discussions regarding national socialism, images of a
swastika, where places like Germany it is illegal (or highly regulated)
but elsewhere you are free to talk about it. I know similar kinds of
laws are in France, and discussion about the Quran (Koran?) in less than
reverent tones is illegal in most Arab countries as well. Routing legal
disputes over things like that to the USA simply isn't always going to
be so easy.
BTW, version 3 of the GPL is currently being discussed at the Free
Software Foundation, and (this is not specifically being directed at you
Jan) if you have comments or know of legal conflicts of the GPL or GFDL
that revisions of the license would make it easier to distribute "libre"
content world-wide, please add some comments@ gnu.org
Robert Scott Horning