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Re: Is Debian a common carrier? Was: package rejection

Manoj Srivastava wrote:

Oh, and if we do not specify what the nature of what we package, would it be easier to prove we merely carry packages?  That would really be nice.

A common carrier carries content from one external point to another as directed by the parties exchanging the content without any modification of that content. The fact that we assemble the content into an aggregate work is sufficient to say we are not a common carrier. That aggregate work is functional in a way that no individual package is, and putting it together constitutes an independent work of creation, carried out by the organization. The vast body of Debian policy is concerned with assembling that content into the aggregate work, it specifies many details about the content meant to make it operate when assembled together.

In addition, there is bug and feature management carried out by the project, which is essentially a direction to the maintainer to edit the package, and packages are rejected from the whole when they have release-critical bugs.

If you sit down and think about the Debian process, I have no doubt that you can come up with 10 more of these.

I just do not see that we have the slightest chance of convincing a court that we're a common carrier.



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