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Re: mpeg encoder patents, Was: Bug#501190: ITP: moonlight

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> Reinhard Tartler <siretart@debian.org> writes:
>> The best reference for patent enforcments I have is
>> http://www.mpegla.com/news.cfm.
>> However none of those lawsuits are comparable to debian, becuase:
>>  a) debian/spi is a non-profit organisation
>>  b) debian does not sell hardware
> Many recipients of Debian do meet one or both of those descriptions.

I'd say they are still a minority.

> The DFSG require the works distributed in Debian be free for all
> recipients of Debian, not just for the Debian project.

This issue not about 'freeness', the DFSG does not talk about patent or
other restrictions at all. If that were true, we wouldn't have
introduced the non-US section for crypto-export regulated software.

If my analysis and judgement is corrent, it therefore seems most
sensible to me (and upstream!) to introduce a new archive section for
free software (ffmpeg is perfectly 100% free software) that are subject
to MPEG LA patent lawsuit threats. We could of course use 'non-free' as
interim solution, but this would not be in accordance to our policy of
judging software.

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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