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. 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?