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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
> judge.

 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.

Loïc Minier

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