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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On Saturday 03 June 2006 16:57, Anthony Towns wrote:
> You can say that if you like, but please be aware that it's not Debian's
> position. Debian's position, as consistently expressed by ftpmaster,
> on this list, and in the press, is that the license is acceptable for
> non-free, and that is also Sun's position.

Non-freeness is a red herring.  The issue is that a "small cabal" -
- a small cabal operating outside its field of expertise - has
placed Debian in the position of indemnifying Sun.

The response that Debian can drop Java is irrelevant.  Dropping
Java would not retroactively remove Debian's indemnification

The response that the FAQ protects Debian is plain wrong.
The FAQ on its face states that it does not modify the license.

The response that conversations with Sun protect Debian is
naive.  By now the "small cabal" would have posted any
written promises from Sun if it had them.  Anything less is

The response that Debian has no assets to be lost is nice in
theory but absurd in practice.  The "small cabal" has given
potential adversaries an opening to file non-frivolous lawsuits
against Debian, Debian mirrors, and Debian contributors.
Potential adverseries include successors in Sun's interest.
In real world courts, such lawsuits could result in significant
damage to Debian in particular and FOSS in general.

Too many excuses.  All inadequate.

It is past time that the covert actions of the "small cabal"
were openly reviewed.  The license (for convenience), any
relevant written promises from Sun (if any), and any relevant
written legal opinions from counsel (if any) should forthwith
be posted to debian-legal.

--Mike Bird

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