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Re: lzw code & patent

Drew Scott Daniels <umdanie8@cc.UManitoba.CA> writes:

> I also am curious as to whether Unisys can collect royalties after
> their patent runs out. I suspect this may be illegal, or at least
> immoral. 

They can collect fees from anyone who has contracted to pay them
fees.  But once the patent runs out, it is no longer illegal to use
the process without permission, so nobody who is sane would contract
to pay fees beyond that date.  People do make insane contracts
sometimes, however.

> I also wonder about whether patent laws can be used from one country
> on another.

Sort of.  It doesn't matter for Debian's purpose, because we
essentially want to wait until its expired everywhere.  That's
basically twenty years, so we still have another year to wait.

> When I figure out what kind of bugs to file against which packages I'll
> look at doing a Mass Bug filing e-mail to Debian-devel. IMHO, it should
> usually be a normal bug against packages that have purposely removed lzw
> code, but I'll probably go with wishlist so as to ruffle fewer feathers.

As a general rule, it's not a normal bug.  It's a wishlist bug,
because you want to add functionality to a correctly-working program.  

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