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Re: Who can make binding legal agreements

John Goerzen writes ("Re: Who can make binding legal agreements"):
> First, I don't believe that SPI has ever granted anyone the ability to
> enter into legally-binding agreements to indemnify (which means to use
> our resources to defend) third parties.  I may be mistaken, though.
> Could you please point out where you believe you derive this ability?

I don't think any of the people who made (and are supporting) the
decision to ship Sun's Java are saying that SPI has indemnified Sun.

> Secondly, I am saying that you should have contacted SPI *first*, so
> we could get advice from our attorney, and enter into agreements
> properly.

This is definitely wrong.  SPI should not be involved in licence
approval.  Firstly, because licence approval is often a political
decision for Debian.  And secondly because SPI is not the licencee and
it is very important for this to remain clear.  The licencees are
Debian's developers, ftpmasters, users, mirror operators, etc.

SPI acts more or less in the role of an ISP: we provide some hardware
(eg, we own the actual servers and in some cases have hosting
agreements).  So if we are notified that SPI property is being used
(by Debian developers or by anyone else) to violate a copyright then
we will act to prevent ourselves from being liable for contributory
infringement.  But in this case it seems clear that Sun are happy with
the situation, so there is no actual infringement.  And of course
Debian already has an existing and very responsive notice-and-takedown
procedure which means that SPI rarely has to get involved.


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