Subject: Re: One the Mark Kantrowitz copyright
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/05/10
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Marco Antoniotti
| OTOH, it seems that "adding" the DEFSYSTEM code to a "product" without
| asking for a fee specifically for this reason, would not really infringe
| the copyright.

  I have hesitated to bring up a legal point because I'm not at all certain
  about its application in this case, but during a course in U.S. contract
  law given by the U.S. Embassy in Oslo a few years back, a fairly strong
  warning was issued to us that contracts that in any way would require one
  party to lose money by performing the requirements of the contract would
  be unenforceable at law, and could land us in real trouble defending the
  _rest_ of the contract in a hostile court.  several obvious examples were
  given that were tantamount to fraud.

  if I understood this principle right, the "permission" to reproduce could
  be construed to require that whoever is stupid enough to obey the letter
  of the contract would run the high risk of having to pay for the whole
  shebang at other people's unlimited request were the license enforceable,
  but Mark Kantrowitz is in no legal position to require such a loss from
  his grantees.  my understanding from said course was that a friendly
  court could rule "without fee or compensation" to mean "above and beyond
  recovery of costs pertaining to execution of license" to avoid declaring
  the restrictions invalid and essentially grant an _unlimited_ license to
  use, copy, and access the material provided by Mark, which is an option.

  my experience with this part of contract law is non-existing as I've done
  my best to stay away from problematic areas, so I may have misapplied
  this principle or not understood its ramifications.  if anyone _knows_
  what I'm hinting at, I'd appreciate corrections and comments.  in any
  case, were I to want to reproduce his works in part of a (physical)
  package that I would charge some fee for producing, but _not_ require
  secondary payment from those who would reproduce further copies (which
  would clearly fall under the restrictions Mark wants exercised), I would
  talk to a lawyer about it.

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