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

On Fri, Oct 25, 2002 at 10:09:34PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> I disagree.  The DFSG speaks explicitly of the licenses of the software
> being distributed; software that may be illegal to use or distribute for
> reasons *other than the license of the copyright holder* has been
> regarded as DFSG-compliant, even when it was not possible for us to
> distribute the software in question.  Compare non-US vs.
> non-US/non-free, for example.

This is only true when the copyright holder isn't the one enforcing the
non-copyright laws to eliminate a piece of software's freedom.

> If it is not *safe* for us to distribute a given piece of software
> because of the legal climate, that's one thing; but the freeness of
> a piece of software is not typically something that's subject to the
> vagaries of local law.

It's entirely subject to the vagaries of local law.  There is no such
thing as a "natural" intellectual property right.

G. Branden Robinson                |     There's nothing an agnostic can't
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     do if he doesn't know whether he
branden@debian.org                 |     believes in it or not.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Graham Chapman

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