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Re: [ox-en] Open Source and Denied Parties


Thanks for the info but (as a lawyer) I simply don't agree with this sort of legal anaylsis.

Sure it's not part of the licence but licences don't exist in a vacuum, they exist within the environment of the applicable law and the applicable law from where we get Mozilla says that it is not permitted to give it to some people - hence the so called free software simply is not free, the law of which the licence is a prt says its not free to give it some people.

The answer is not to say we are just telling you what the law is but you can ignore it or it doesn't apply to you ... as Johan says in one way or another it does or it will sooner or later. This is just a lawyers cop out ... its a bullshit argument as we say in my country.

I have also read that it only applies to people "knowingly" exporting the software ... well in the common law countries such as the US "knowledge is a pretty broad thing - actual knowledge or constructive knowledge. So following examples in other areas of IP law, having it on a server and knowing that it is conceivably possible that a denied party might download it (and there was proof that they did ... easy to get go to linuxiran for example) then its pretty easy to argue that mozilla had contsructive knowledge. Or even you might get caught in the conspiracy if you got the software from the US and passed it to one of your firends who lived within the evil empire ...

But my point is that you cant maintain some sort of open source purity by hiding behind a statement that its not a a licence issue - it is a licence issue as licences operate within the context of the applicable law ........... the answer may be to admit the software is not free or to move your point of distribution to somewhere we it is not constrained by law.


Thomas Uwe Gruettmueller wrote:

Hi auskadi,

On friday 2003-09-05 13:37, auskadi wrote:
I just went to check out some buggy thing in my inability to
open some attachments in my Mozilla mail that get sent to me
from a mac ... I started here:

And I saw this with a nice bold yellow background:

   * This source code is subject to the U.S. Export
     Administration Regulations and other U.S. law, and may
not be exported or re-exported to certain countries (currently Afghanistan (Taliban controlled areas), Cuba,
     Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) or to
     persons or entities prohibited from receiving U.S.
     exports (including Denied Parties, entities on the Bureau
     of Export Administration Entity List, and Specially
     Designated Nationals).
Some guy/genius here seems to think that  the U.S. Export
Administration Regulations is not a GNU/Open Source issue.
But back to the point: Anyone got any thoughts or resources
about this new form of "Open Source"?????

The best place to discuss legal aspects of free software is the Debian Legal mailing list. IIRC, they have discussed this issue, and the result was something like this:

The yellow box is not part of Mozilla's license, but just a warning for US citizens not to infringe their export laws. The Mozilla developers do not have any influence on US laws, so US citizens would not be allowed to export Mozilla to Iraq, with or without the yellow box. For people outside the USA however, this warning is void. So, there is a legal way to export Mozilla to Iraq.

However, if the content of the box would have been included in the license, the restriction would not only apply to US citizens but to citizens of all states that have a copyright law. This is the case for some pieces of software (but not Mozilla), and both, Debian and the FSF regard them non-free.

Thomas }:o{#
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