Re: mpeg encoder patents, Was: Bug#501190: ITP: moonlight
On Tue, Oct 07, 2008, Russ Allbery wrote:
> I would be very uncomfortable trying to fill out something that specific.
> It looks remarkably like legal advice that I'm not qualified to give or
I agree it looks like legal advice, and neither would I be capable of
handing out legal advice. But we need to reconcile the patent or legal
constraints which we set on the Debian packages with clearly outlined
policies or provide people with the mean to implement their own.
IOW, either a) we write down what we allow and disallow in packages
(the checks after the DFSG checks) and apply them to the whole of
Debian, the rest isn't Debian, or b) we document worthwhile
information, try to distribute anything DFSG free which we can, and let
downstream recipients check what they need to check.
The current way we handle the DFSG licensing part is with
debian/copyright summing it up, and running that through ftpmaster
checks. If we have similar constraints for legal or patent stuff, why
not do the same thing?
I'm more for b) because I'd like to kill some out of archive packages
and because Debian == Universal OS. I don't see how we can be
universal if we take the lowest common denominator of what's permitted
in all countries in the world and according to all patents claim.
Perhaps this involves getting legal advice, or having a legal team.
Trying to divide into components wont work IMO; we wont ever have
enough classifications in this way.