On Sun, Jun 12, 2005 at 10:17:59PM -0600, Robert Scott Horning wrote:
I don't care much about fair use, though for some things there is no
other way. But I don't like this either because if you take it to the
extreme and obey the law of every country, there's going to be little
that is allowed. What if some country prohibits the GFDL itself?
Unless the prohibition is against specifically the Free Software
Foundation licenses in general, or a very specific anti-American
licensing law (both are possible and weird), the GFDL is simply a
contractural agreement on how you can reuse copyrighted material. If
you fail to follow the proscribed method to legally reuse the content,
you are then subject to copyright violations that in many places,
notably the USA and Europe, can be quite harsh with multi-year jail
terms and fines in hundreds of thousands of dollars.... per violation.
Outlawing the GFDL or GPL is going to be a pandora's box that will
essentially make copyright laws useless, and make it impossible to
license somebody to legally copy any copyrightable content.
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.