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Re: Bug#447712: Package could be non-free in the United Kingdom

Lars Wirzenius <liw@iki.fi> wrote:
> ti, 2007-10-23 kello 09:44 -0500, Steve Greenland kirjoitti:
> > But the license on the package itself doesn't make that restriction.
> If I have understood things correctly, in England (and the rest of the
> UK?) the copyright is owned by the crown and therefore it is the crown
> that sets the license. [...]
> But don't trust me on this, I am merely speculating.

AFAICT, that's incorrect: this restriction is from the letters patent,
not the copyright (which has long since expired).  Wikipedia seems to
have been corrected on this since I last looked.

Also, it's also not clear whether the patent is actively enforced and
it's well-known as not enforced against most printing outside the UK
(the KJV is frequently printed in the US, for example, isn't it?) even
by Englishmen.

So, does debian really need to remove packages of such importance
because of a trivially-avoidable not-obviously-enforced patent?

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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