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Re: FSDG-compatibility of APSL-2.0

From: Felix Lechner
Subject: Re: FSDG-compatibility of APSL-2.0
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 13:11:23 -0700


On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 10:07 AM Maxime Devos <> wrote:
> If $local_country makes all software free, such a
> clause would likely be illegal in $local_country and thus unenforcible.

A country would likely engage in such a wholesale disenfranchisement
as a last step, and not the first, after refusing to enforce Apple's
judgments obtained in the US.

> If you are already in California, [...], but if you don't and simply
> Apple needs to appeal to international
> law enforcement or your country in particular, whichever is easier.

I generally think of license violations as civil matters. With some
small exceptions, law enforcement focuses on criminal cases.

> they have to cross either ocean, things become more difficult.

Apple would probably try to obtain a default judgment, which is often
issued after a counterparty was served (not always easy abroad) but
did not respond in court. If and how that judgment affects someone's
situation in another country depends on many factors, including
international treaties and the local political environment.

> ... yes, but I wouldn't know whether it will be to difficult or not for
> Apple and whether $local_country would agree/disagree, so I'm inclined
> to assume the worst for safety, unless informed by a reliable expert.

The safest route for free software activists is always to comply with
the stated license terms. Folks in the free software community, at
least those of us preferring licenses with strong copylefts, expect
the same.

As a resident of Northern California, I personally like the local
legal environment. You would have to talk to a lawyer to see if the
Ninth Circuit (copyright claims are Federal) would honor the clause
about ignoring the UN Convention after considering the relative
strength of the parties, as a matter of sound public policy.

Perhaps the weighing of those factors played a role in why Apple's
attempt to stipulate a venue did not render the license unfree.

Kind regards,
Felix Lechner

P.S. To my knowledge, I do not use or own any Apple products.

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