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Re: x11amp

On Mon, Feb 01, 1999 at 10:47:25PM +0100, Josip Rodin wrote:

> > The fact that they hold *a* patent does not put Debian in any sort of
> > jeopardy.  If anything, it would be the authors; Debian is complying with
> > GPL completely.
> Well, yes, but we still have to abide by the patent laws, don't we?

It would probably be wise to do so, within reason.  (Keep in mind that it
may be technically illegal to use .gif for anything without paying Unisys,
but since they gave us their 'blessing' by saying they'd only charge for
commercial packages, we're OK and would not be sued.)

However, nobody has ever demonstrated that 1) that patent is valid anywhere
in the world, 2) that they hold a patent that applies to playing MP3s, and
3) that such patent has been vigorously defended such that courts would side
in their favor.

Note also that if we really were under such patent restrictions, it would
not be legal to distribute even in non-free.

Merely the *threat* of legal action, which would ultimately be unsucessful
from their perspective, can not and should not influence Debian policy.

> > The licensing terms are not vague: it's GPL.  That's about as solid as you
> > can get.
> Yes, but the patents and other restrictions fsck up.

I have yet to see that there are any applicable patents here.

> > documentation anywhere that indicated that x11amp uses any mpg123 code. 
> > (Where are you looking?)  Since it's released as GPL, it's free.

OK, I'll grant you that on these grounds, perhaps contrib.

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