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Re: Bug#200411: www.debian.org: confusing description of non-US sections

On Mon, Jul 14, 2003 at 11:42:09PM +0200, Matt Kraai wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 14, 2003 at 09:15:01PM +0000, Brian M. Carlson wrote:
> > On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 09:59:34PM -0700, Matt Kraai wrote:
> > > The thread
> > > 
> > >  http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200207/msg00029.html
> > > 
> > > documents the exact rationale for these sections.  The following
> > > patch incorporates its conclusions into the packages page.
> > > 
> > > I'd appreciate it if the readers of debian-legal would
> > > double-check it.

> > What I saw in that thread was Wichert saying that things in non-US
> > needed to be there because of patents, and Steve Langasek saying that
> > that those things needed to be in non-US/non-free. That's not what I see
> > below.

> I only found one reply from Steve Langasek at

>  http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200207/msg00032.html

> I interpret this as saying that cryptographic software that is
> non-free cannot move to a server in the US because it does not
> fall under the same BXA exemptions that allow us to export free
> cryptographic software.  I didn't see anything in his message
> regarding patents.

Essentially correct.  To be precise, I think the BXA exemptions cover
software under a wider range of licenses than what we consider free;
however, trying to bring any non-free crypto software into the primary
mirror ring is not worth the risk, IMHO.

> > > -    <dt><em>Non-US/Main</em> and <em>Non-US/Non-Free</em></dt>
> > > -      <dd>These packages cannot be exported from the USA, they are mostly
> > > -      encryption software packages, or software that is encumbered by
> > > -      patent issues. Most of them are free, but some are non-free.</dd>
> > > +    <dt><em>Non-US/Main</em></em></dt>
> > > +      <dd>Packages in this area are free themselves but cannot be
> > > +      stored on a server in the USA because they are encumbered by
> > > +      patent issues.</dd>

> > Things in main or non-US/main should not be patent encumbered.
> > non-US/main is designed so that packages can be imported into the US,
> > but not exported. If it would not fit the DFSG for any reason, including
> > being patent-encumbered in the US or other places, then it does not
> > belong in non-US/main.

> What belongs in non-US/main?  Only software left over from the
> crypto-in-main transition?

There have, in practice, been packages relegated to non-US for purely
patent reasons.  Whether these packages warrant the classification of
non-US/main or non-US/non-free is a bit of a judgement call.  Since the
DFSG mainly talks about software licenses, I would question whether it's
appropriate to speak of patent-encumbered software as non-free when the
patent holder is not the author.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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