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Re: The intent of patent clauses in DFSG draft (was: Re: Leadership, effects on Debian ...)

On Sun, Nov 29, 1998 at 09:32:16PM -0500, Daniel Martin wrote:

> And if the patent clauses were written in such a way, I'd support
> them.  The unfortunate fact is that they aren't written this way AT
> ALL.  Basically, the current guidelines declare that if you're on the
> Debian sh*tlist (which is called "being a software patent agressor")
> then any piece of otherwise free software you release, if any
> operation of it is covered by patents, is non-free.  No matter how
> clearly you license the use of your patent with regard to this piece
> of software, it's non-free.

You know, I kind of thought that's what DFSG2 was saying, but I couldn't
believe it :)  What an arbitrary thing to do, not accepting software because
you don't like the creators.

Now, things get fuzzy, because there are really three situations here:

1) DFSG-free license, no patents (or freely-licensed patents)
	no problem
2) DFSG-free license, patent-restricted by author
	non-free, really, and never intended to be free
3) DFSG-free license, patent-restricted by someone else
	(think MP3 encoders here, or third party RSA libraries)
	What do we do?  The author intended it to be free, but it's
	restricted by an outside source.  This messes up the GPL too.  Is it
	main, or not?  Or do we just put it in non-us because only the US
	enforces software patents :)
Have fun,


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