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Re: MP3 decoders' non-freeness

On Tue, Aug 06, 2002 at 01:10:51PM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> At 09:42 PM 8/6/02 +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> >On Tue, Aug 06, 2002 at 03:02:59AM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> >> The amount of money to be got from a unknowing non-commercial
> >> infringer is also pretty limited.
> >The issue isn't how badly we can be hurt.
> Part of the issue is how badly someone wants to hurt us.

No, that's really entirely irrelevant. The only thing that's relevant
is whether we're violating IP laws or not, not whether patent holders
think we are, nor whether copyright holders don't really care.

> >> Distributing large amounts of software that we didn't write, and that
> >> we don't have a large body of software patents to trade on, inherently
> >> opens us up to lawsuits.
> >Only in the same sense that breathing can open you up to lawsuits.
> Did you look at the link? We have distributed many packages with code
> we had no right to distribute. 

Yes, that happens quite regularly. Once we find out, we fix it. That's
the way it works. Getting paniced about it isn't helpful.

> >wanted to spend the time learning about the
> >issues involved enough to talk to lawyers about ensuring that it was
> >done in such a way that wasn't directly or indirectly violating US laws,
> >we might be able to one day have such a place.
> What's up with the whole talking with lawyers thing? It certainly didn't
> stop us from moving LZW to non-free and RSA to non-US in the past.

Try to keep the context: if we're ever going to try for some
"patent/DMCA-free" archive, someone needs to talk to people who actually
know the law to make sure we don't do anything completely stupid.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

 ``If you don't do it now, you'll be one year older when you do.''

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