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

Clint Adams <schizo@debian.org> writes:

> We need to stop pretending that patent enforcement is one of our
> responsibilities or that we expose ourself to any kind of liability
> by distributing code that may or may not be patent-encumbered.

This is exactly my concern as well.  I have absolutely no idea whether any
of the software that I package is affected by some patent.  I don't see
how anyone could reasonably know that, given our current patent system,
without some exhaustive legal work that I'm not qualified to do and
certainly am not going to spend the money on.

I don't have any idea, in many cases, whether the people who released the
software that I've packaged really have the legal right to release
everything in those packages under the stated license, nor do I have any
reasonable ability to check that.

In both cases, I take the same approach: I follow the stated license and
address other problems reactively as someone brings them to my attention.
I don't go looking for trouble; I only review what's stated on the files
that come from upstream.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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