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Patents, gimp-nonfree and LAME

I have attempted to locate discussion on this issue before in debian-legal (as well as debian-devel, incidentally). If this particular issue has been addressed somewhere, please be gentle and direct me to it. If not:

I have noted that packages such as LAME will not be packaged in Debian (even under non-free) due to patent enforcement[1]. I have also noted that gimp-nonfree is packaged in non-free because it contains patented code supporting the GIF format (which has expired in the US recently but not in other regions of the world).

My question is: what are the guidelines on packaging code that has patented technology? Does GIMP's GIF support get distributed because Unisys is not actively enforcing its LZW patent, while LAME does not get distributed because Fraunhofer is actively enforcing its MP3 patent?

[1] http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/unable-to-package.en.html

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