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[tlug] Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP

Jean-Christophe Helary writes:

 > What is the current situation in Japan ?


The LJ article is complete FUD.  "None of this works that way."

It works like this.  "Parties" to a treaty are *countries*.  Treaties
tell *countries* what they must, may, or must not do.

So 14.17.1 says that *countries* must not make any law requiring
license of source as a condition for import.  14.17.2 nevertheless
says *countries* may legally require source licenses for importing
software that is part of critical infrastructure (I would guess
applications such as electric power plants, voting machines, and
e-commerce security).  Similarly, 14.17.3 says *countries* may legally
mandate that government itself negotiate commercial contracts
demanding source as a condition of the contract.

IOW, 14.17 grants countries limited but nevertheless fairly broad
powers to *require* FOSS as a matter of law.  It says nothing about
what individual or corporate persons can do with their own
intellectual property or the protections that they have under existing
law (unless existing law violates section 1 in which case it needs to
be changed).  It does grant protection to companies like Microsoft
against their IP being expropriated by treaty signatories in "mass
market" cases, and probably to Apple and Google in their Stores.

There are other provisions directly related to copyright and patent,
and last I looked there WERE devils in those details (DMCA-like stuff,
for example).  I don't see any here in article 14.17, though.

IANAL TINLA, of course.  But I'm sure that companies like Red Hat and
Canonical have had their lawyers look at this issue.  If it really
represented a threat we'd have heard about it before.


Associate Professor              Division of Policy and Planning Science     Faculty of Systems and Information
Email:                   University of Tsukuba
Tel: 029-853-5175                 Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN

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