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Re: Initial Proposal to solve this non-US issue

I wrote:
> How about asking each maintainer to include in her package a list of
> countries that the package must be kept out of?

Manoj Srivastava writes:
> Firstly, this puts too much of a burden on the maintainer. I have little
> idea about the laws of my state, and then there are federal laws, and
> then laws of other countries -- international law requires several years
> of training.

How would my proposal add any burden?  Now the maintainer must decide
whether the package goes in non-us or not: under my proposal he would have
to decide whether or not it needs a restrictions file and header.  Most of
us would just go on assuming that our packages are not restricted anywhere.
and so make no changes.

> Secondly, this also opens up the maintianer to the liability of
> practicing law (giving legal advice does indeed come under that heading,
> at least according to my lawyer). This is why we do not further
> distinguish between non-free packages.

Now the maintainer of a non-us package puts it in non-us where the user
will find a file explaining that it is illegal to export it from the US.
Under my proposal he would put that file in the package and add a header
that would keep it off US sites.  I see no fundamental difference.  And
neither constitutes legal advice.

> If I think a package is fine in Germany (when it really is not); and a
> german citizen is in vioation of the law, won't they in turn call upon
> the culpability of the maintainer who said it was all A-OK?

No.  Why would any maintainer ever say such a thing?  If he did choose to
do so, it would certainly not be because my proposal required it.

I recently uploaded chrony to master.  As far as I know the package is
legal everywhere, and it includes no mention of legalities of any sort.
If my proposal had been in effect, I would have uploaded *exactly* the same
package.  You seem to believe that were some French user to learn the hard
way that chrony is illegal in France I would be liable in the latter case,
but not the former.  Why?
John Hasler
john@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

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