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Re: KDE not in Debian?

> > Second place, we're taking the safe route. No one can sue us for not
> > having KDE in Debian.

On Wed, Jan 19, 2000 at 03:25:14PM -0600, David Welton wrote:
> I think this is a straw man argument. Think about it, Redhat
> distributes KDE, Debian distributes KDE, Redhat has a market cap of 15
> billion dollars, Debian doesn't have much at all. I guess that might
> make it easier to 'win' against Debian, but win what?

I think that there's safety in doing the right thing, and that that's
a more significant issue than who can be sued for what.

If there's a straw-man here, it's casting the discussion in terms of
lawsuits instead of in terms of legalities.  At least in the U.S.,
anybody can be sued for anything.

If we do something that's illegal, and wrong, we lose reputation, and we
lose cohesiveness, and we lose a sense of direction.  So, if we are doing
something illegal and wrong we probably should stop doing such a thing.
And, if we're not doing something illegal and wrong we probably shouldn't
start doing such a thing.

[Note that I'm being very careful not to talk about doing things which
are illegal but right.  And, for that matter, I'm failing to discuss
things which are legal but wrong.]

In the case of KDE, big chunks of it are written for use with Qt.  So,
it would be really trivial for the authors to grant explicit permission
to distribute their software with Qt.  But they haven't -- at least,
not the last time I checked.

And, you have to ask yourself:  Why?

And the answer, I think, is that if they did, the pieces of software
which weren't originally written for Qt would stand out.  And, a KDE with
those pieces missing would be a lot less attractive than KDE as a whole.

If the KDE folks would make a reasonably solid statement of permission,
[something that counts as a legal grant of permission] we could probably
distribute most of KDE (last time I checked, there were only six packages
which had problems -- nontrivial packages, but only six of them).

In the mean time, we wait.


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