raw output

Decorative clauses

By jacobo, on 2006-6-5 at 12:38, under General

In a recent message to debian-legal (may have not appeared yet when you read this) I said that I didn’t believe in “oh, this clause in this license is not relevant, since it’s already implied by law”. I believe that if it’s there, it’s for a reason, and I don’t want to be surprised when I find out what it is for. Furthermore, “implied by law” means nothing, since laws change, and different countries have different laws (really!).

In other words, I don’t think lawyers go around putting decorative clauses in license statements. If they had such an artistic inclination, the results would rather look like this:

[…] construed as a distribution of this Package.

      If you intend to advertise,
      our name you may not utilise.
      Get our written permission first,
      or in jail you’ll die of thirst.


I found it fitting to do this to the Artistic License :-)

(Yes, I know it’s hideous. Think of it as lawyer-poetry.)


There is 1 comment for this post.

  1. Comment by Matthew W. S. Bell, on 2006-6-5 at 17:24 | permalink

    I have a friend of a friend who knows a dog who dropped out of law school, and he says that although everything in a contract is relevant, under British contract law none of it necessarily means anything. Clauses within the contract can be ruled irrelvant to the contract and ignored or superceded by relevant law by the judge in the contract dispute.

    So a lot of the stuff in the contract (particularly leasehold and renting agreements) are merely a statement of what the law already says (and this cannot be changed as the contract is made under the law of the time), and the rest is usually contrary to the law anyway.


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