Archive of patent-encumbered software
A thousand years ago, or two months ago or so, I wrote to debian-legal
suggesting that Debian split non-US into two parts, crypto and patents.
They say third time's a charm, so I guess this won't be a charm.
When I wrote that, I was under the impression that non-US was for both
crypto and patents. Which would've been weird; since there are different
laws for both, in different parts of the world. I was indeed a foolish
Now, I was reading random messages from the archives (didn't feel like
reading all messages on all archives, not at the moment anyway, so
apologies if this has come up often) and it seems like according to
policy, non-US is only for crypto. (In one of the "woody freeze update
posts" by aj he wrote that the issue on whether crypot could be moved to
main or not was settled, but not what the outcome was. Will it or won't
it? I'm concerned because the US isn't the only country with restrictions
Anyway, as many people know, there are (or has been) software in non-US
that are there because of patent problems, policy-breaking as this may be.
Now, I'm living in Sweden where software patents as far as I know are
void. I wish that there was a part of Debian that could distribute
software like for example Lame; it could be positioned in a country that
doesn't have software patents at all.
1) There are Debian users and developers in countries where software
patents are void.
2) There might be people living in countries where software patents are
valid who would like to choose to violate those laws.
3) There might be law-abiding people living in countries where software
patents are valid who has a patent license and thus may use some patented
Personally, I don't like software patents. I mean no offense to those on
the list who do approve of them, but I don't. Regardless: should one
country's law rule the whole universe of Debian users? What is the
universal operating system?
Now, there's no actual *point* to this message (except my crypto-in-main
question above), I just want to state my wish for such an archive so that
people will think about it, consider it, and maybe act on it.