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



On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 08:20:56PM +0000, Sander Vesik wrote:
> On Sat, 26 Oct 2002, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > On Sat, Oct 26, 2002 at 06:34:14PM +0100, Sander Vesik wrote:
> > > Speaking as the "upstream" - it would also be definately much better if
> > > everyone used just the same one tarball and there wasn't a "normal source
> > > tarball" and "source tarball sans 'K' files".
> > 
> > Speaking as a free software developer and a member of the Debian Projct,
> > it would definitely be much better if you could guarantee that people
> > distributing your source tarball wouldn't be sued for patent
> > infringement by Unisys for doing so.
> 
> I cannot guarantee anything about what will (or will not) happen to people
> when they use the sources or binaries or distribute them, in fact the
> licence included explicitly says so. Its not as if Debian gives me any
> gurantees as to what is *not* going to happen with me in some excotic
> locale if I use / redistribute the tarballs. 

Precisely my point.  You are permitted to take certain steps (disclaimer
of warranty) to insulate yourself against legal liability.

All Debian is trying to do is the same thing.  Debian not want to be
subjected to patent infringment claims from Unisys.  Eliminating
implementations of the LZW algorithm from source code that we
distributing is one way -- probably a fairly reliable one, at that -- we
can insulate ourselves from legal liability.

Please do not put us in the position of feeling that we are creating
points of contention with upstream authors when we do so.  If this
happens, we may decide it's better to not distribute the software at
all.  But that, too, may be interpreted as a slight.

In short, you seem to be asking us to choose between risks: risk being
rude or risk getting sued.  I think Debian would rather be rude than
sued.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    Any man who does not realize that
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    he is half an animal is only half a
branden@debian.org                 |    man.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Thornton Wilder

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