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Re: Software Patents: Was: Re: Re: Is anyone packaging `lame' ?

Chris Walters wrote:
> Software code can be copyrighted, but that is an easy thing to get
> around - even if you got your original idea from some copyrighted code.
>  Patents are not easy to get around.  They totally protect all
> implementations of the procedures used to do x (whatever x is).

Only if they are enforcable in court. Regarding many multimedia related
software, there is indeed an ugly lot of software patents around, and it
is very unclear if they would succeed in court if somebody would
distribute software which implement ideas described by a patent.

I don't think debian has decided on a more or less 'official' position
regarding software patents. There many packages in debian, which are
suspected to implement many ideas described by software patents. I don't
know of any case were debian had to explain in court. This causes a lot
of confusion about what and what not to upload to debian. E.g. it is
very unclear to the mplayer guys why xine, vlc, gstreamer etc is already
in debian.

It is of course a somewhat political matter how debian as project should
act in this matter. If there already is somewhere a summary with
conclusions about this subject, I'd be more than happy to be hit by a


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