Re: License issues with fortune packages?
This is not legal advice, no client-attorney relationship is established,
With respect to this package, I suggest taking a look at this case - CASTLE
ROCK ENTERTAINMENT, INC. v. CAROL PUBLISHING GROUP, 150 F.3d 132 (2nd Cir.
Of course, every distributor needs to make their own risk analysis when
distributing main (since after all any (or all) other code in main possibly
could be an infringement). I am not sure what Debian's position should be or
is on this type of risk analysis, namely whether it should take a package
with a license at face value or act differently when the package may be
From: Joseph Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: John Galt <email@example.com>
CC: Tollef Fog Heen <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
Subject: Re: License issues with fortune packages?
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 09:17:50 -0500
On Mon, Dec 18, 2000 at 10:27:52PM -0700, John Galt wrote:
> > Fair use is fair use, and therefore not subject to restrictions.
> Yeah, but fair use tends to blur when profit is made off of the use. In
> main, it is likely that CD distributor foo makes a bit of cash off the
> sale (hence the reasoning behind the "no commercial use" clauses
> making non-free). This may invalidate "fair use" or at least stretch
> reasoning a little farther than necessary. Debian itself is non-profit,
> but main may open up a can of worms. Just as an aside, non-profits have
> consistently gotten the benefit of the doubt in Fair Use determination,
> that may tip the scale, but erring on the side of caution is definitely
> the preferable option.
That stance is somewhat ridiculous.
We don't know (or rather we do know, but you'd rather assume we don't), so
just to be on the safe side you'd rather avoid doing anything because
someone, somewhere might possibly send a lawyer after us for doing
something? If you're that timid, you don't belong in the software market
since there's always the threat that someone, somewhere will try to sue
you whether they have a legal basis to do so or not.
If you're really concerned about limitations of fair use, consider
fortunes-mod first. The package outright makes no promises that things
are even attributed correctly.
While we have plenty of potential license issues to worry about, this
really isn't one of them. I'm sure nobody at the media companies is
afraid that a fan-created quote database is going to affect their sales,
so they have no need to try and twist laws so they can attack anyone over
it. And as they are, there are no laws I know of which would make
distributing a fortune database (even as part of a larger collection sold
for profit) anything but fair use, if properly attributed.
Joseph Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org> GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/) 20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/) 44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3
<Sanaya> you guys are all sick! sick sick sick I tell ya ;)
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