[tex-live] Re: TL licensing following FSF

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Fri Mar 17 11:32:19 CET 2006

Sebastian Rahtz <Sebastian.Rahtz at oucs.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

> Juergen Fenn wrote:
>> Secondly, putting software (or whatever content) under an
>> English-language license is not legally binding towards private users
>> under German law -- and probably elsewhere neither. This only matters
>> to entrepreneurs. For binding non-entrepreneurs you would have to add
>> a German translation that is authoritative with the software. 
> Has this idea been tested in court? not to my knowledge.
> Legal experts may predict this interpretation of the law,
> but when it comes before a judge they may see it differently.

On the contrary, there is no rule in german law that a contract has to
be in german.  This might be different for "Allgemeine
Geschäftsbedingungen", but which of the two a software or documentation
license is is not clear.

There has been one court ruling in favor of the GPL in germany, but this
was just an "einstweilige Verfügung", and it wasn't against a private
user.  The texlive project or anyone pressing DVDs of it probably
wouldn't count as private, either.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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