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Re: Quake is GPL

On Sat, Dec 25, 1999 at 10:00:21AM +0100, Christian Kurz wrote:
> On 99-12-25 Craig Sanders wrote:
> > On Fri, Dec 24, 1999 at 12:44:26PM +0100, Christian Kurz wrote:
> > > No, this won't solve the problem, as the software which is illegal
> > > would still reside on the FTP-Server and so you still have the problem
> > > which I described above. And I will definitiv shut down the new mirror
> > > as soon as quake is in the archive and my lawyer says, that it's
> > > illegal.
> > wouldn't it be better to just put an exclude rule in your mirror script?
> No, I think setting up a dedicated server as Raul suggested would be a
> good solution.  Or we provide the user with an installer-script like
> we do with qmail.

why make things difficult for everyone else? with that attitude, we may
as well give up working on debian entirely because it's likely that
every program in the distribution is illegal in one jurisdiction or

> I think those are both possibel and also legal solutions.

they're as legal as doing nothing (and even that is probably illegal
somewhere in the world)...they're not solutions, they effectively
constitute "prior restraint".  

even if it was a reasonable "solution", it would not be at all practical
for reasons outlined below...

> > sure, maintaining exclude rules might be a PITA, but you can't
> > expect every developer in every country to know what programs are
> > illegal in every other country in the world...in other words,
> > keeping track of this has to be the responsibility of the ftp site
> > operator(s) concerned.
> Hm, I don't think that the FTP-Maintainer should really take care
> about this, because they are also not lawyers

debian developers aren't lawyers either.

> and I'm not interested to ask my lawyer for every program on the
> server, if it's legal or not.

you should be interested, as it's you that's taking the risk. if you
don't care enough to take an interest, then why should anyone else care
on your behalf?

> If I set up an mirror, I want to mirror the whole stuff and let the
> author/maintainer of those stuff make sure, that everything is legal.

not possible. what is legal in one country may be illegal in another,
and vice-versa. it's up to you to obey the laws of your country, it is
not up to people in other countries to obey them for you - especially if
they are not otherwise subject to those laws.

> > as long as you're making a good faith effort to comply with the laws
> > of your country (e.g. exclude banned material from your mirror run
> > as soon as you become aware of it) then it is unlikely that you will
> > be prosecuted and even less likely that you would be successfully
> > prosecuted. of course, i am not a lawyer so this is not legal advice :)
> > - it's just common sense.
> Some parts of it may be right, but I think it's not okay to put this
> burden on the FTP-Maintainer that set up for free mirrors and spend some
> time on this. I for myself don't have enough time to maintain excludes
> rules good and so I would exclude every part of the game-section, which
> can't be the right solution.

that's absurd. you should do so for your own protection, if nothing

if you're worried by the legalities, then how can you possibly trust
that some unknown people in some foreign country are going to know
enough about your country's laws to make that kind of decision for you?

they can't know that, and you can't expect them to know that. it's your
arse that's on the line, so it's in your interest to CYA...regardless of
how much of that work is done by someone else, you would be foolish to
blindly trust that they have done the job properly so you're going to
have to check what they've done anyway.

again, that's just common sense. the burden isn't put on you by debian,
it's put on you by your own country's laws - if you don't like the
burden, then work to get the laws changed if you can. or do the civil
disobedience thing and ignore the law...and accept the risks and
consequences of doing so.

> And as an FTP-Maintainer wants to provide a full mirror and works
> mostly in his free time on the server and the mirror-script, I think
> we should not too many load on them and instead find a solution
> insight our project.

there is no viable top-down solution. every country is different, every
country has different stupid laws - it is entirely unreasonable to
expect people in some other country to keep track of every piece of
stupid legislation passed in every country.


craig sanders

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