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Wanted: clarification of current non-US policy.


I've been seeing a lot posts lately discussing which CD images should be
used where, etc., especially with respect to CD images which include the
non-US tree.

My understanding was that non-US/main had three basic classes of 
in it (not necessarily exclusive classes):

crypto:  Any DFSG-compliant package which implemented cryptography that 
would be export-restricted from the US.  (ex:  ssh, gpg, pgp, ssl, etc)

patent:  Any DFSG-compliant package which implemented algorithms or 
techniques known to violate US patents that are not enforceable outside 
of the US.  (ex: GIF-encoders, MP3 encoders, implementations of RSA or 
IDEA, etc).  I believe it was a policy decision that patents may make a 
package undistributable, but were not sufficient to make a package 
non-DFSG -- the author isn't responsible for patent policy.

closure:  Any DFSG-compliant package which depended upon any package in 

Of these three categories, packages in "crypto" can be used freely 
within the US, but not exported, but packages in "patent" cannot be 
used freely within the US.  This would present a problem for 
distributors who were distributing the non-US/main tree in the US, even 
without exporting it.

There is talk of making a single CD image, which is distributable 
anywhere but is not exportable.  Based on my understanding, I can see 
two possible reasons for this:

I) I am mistaken about the status of the packages in the "patent" 
class, and a) they are not in non-US/main and so would not end up on 
the single CD image in question, or b) they aren't the problem I think 
they are, and will end up on the single CD image without any legal 

II) Someone has forgotten about the package in the "patent" class, and 
I've just ruined their day.

So, which is it?


     Buddha Buck                             bmbuck@14850.com
"Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so the strength of our
liberty depends upon the chaos and cacophony of the unfettered speech
the First Amendment protects."  -- A.L.A. v. U.S. Dept. of Justice

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