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

On Monday 29 October 2007 23:42, MJ Ray wrote:
> 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?

Queen Elizabeth II authorised William Collins of Glasgow to print my copy 
of the Scotish* version of the Authorised Vesion of the Old and New 
Testaments, under the same Letters Patent granted by Queen Victoria in 
1839. I do not think that Her Majesty and her advisers would be worried 
about electronic copies, they could well take a different stand on 
printed versions.
*While the version for the Church of Scotland is the most common and is 
the version under discussion, it is a shortened version of the original.
  Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
   +64 3 488 2818        Fax +64 3 488 2875        Mobile 027 663 4453
   philipc@copyleft.co.nz - personal.    info@copyleft.co.nz - business

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