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Re: LZW patented file left in .orig.tar source package?

I know nothing about patent law, US or otherwise, but I keep seeing
programs that are made freely available as source code, but not as
binaries, because they implement patented algorithms. In most cases
the intention is obviously that people will download the source,
compile it and use it. If that is possible, I would be surprised if
Debian can not distribute source code where the intention is obviously
that people will not use the patented algorithm, because it is
disabled by the build script.

I don't find the text of "35 USC 271" particularly enlightening. What
does it mean if someone "makes ... any patented invention" in the case
of an algorithm (or a teaching method, for that matter, seeing as you
also patent those in the USA, I think)?


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