Re: gif-producing code and sarge?
Colin Watson wrote:
> On Sun, May 23, 2004 at 08:57:39PM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
>> as far as I understood, we probably need for the release of sarge at
>> least six more weeks, i.e. not before 4th July. Some packages are put
>> into non-free/contrib because they produce (direct or indirect)
>> gif-images, and there is a gif patent. According to
>> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gif.html :
>> The Unisys patent expired on 20 June 2003 in the USA, but it does not
>> expire in most of Europe until 18 June 2004, in Japan until 20 June
>> 2004 and in Canada until 7 July 2004
> What about the IBM patent mentioned there? I realize IBM are generally
> somewhat less arsey about patents such as these than Unisys have been,
> but it still seems like a valid concern.
IBM holds *so* many software patents (all invalid on their faces, of course)
that if it decided to enforce them, and was successful, most of Debian
would likely have to be removed. However, they've never actually pressed a
case with them, as far as I can tell.
For reasons like this, policy has been to ignore bogus algorithm patents
unless the patent holder actually tries to enforce them against someone.
Unisys has done so.
>> So, I would like to move these packages / programs into main (more
>> specifically, ppmtogif from netpbm-nonfree into netpbm-free, and file
>> wishlist requests on the appropriate dependend packages). However, as
>> the last expiry falls into the deep freeze (at least I hope this ;),
>> it might be useful to make the move earlier (now?). Well, this
>> decision is of course yours, so please tell me if it's ok to upload
>> packages that produce compressed gif into main earlier than 7th July.
> I think that decision is probably ftpmaster's.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.