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Re: centericq and MSN support

On Thu, Oct 23, 2003 at 10:25:22AM -0400, Brian Ristuccia wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 23, 2003 at 03:33:24PM +0200, Julien LEMOINE wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > 	I uploaded today a version of centericq with support for last msn protocol 
> > (MSN9). I received a question from upstream author, he do not want to
> > include this patch in official release for the moment because he do not
> > know if this is legal.
> > 
> > 	Does someone know if this MSN9 support is legal ?
> > 
> > 	A short resume of the problem is given on gaim page [1], microsoft now 
> > require a licence for connecting on a msn server.
> > 
> For the purposes of Debian, you need to concern yourself only with whether
> the software itself can be distributed without infringing on any copyright
> held on the software itself. As of version (4.9.2-5arc), centericq was
> distributable under the terms of the GNU GPL, which we generally consider to
> be acceptable. 
> (The fact that end users might use the software for something illegal is
> irrelevant to whether or not it can be included in Debian. One can use
> mixmaster for industrial espionage, john to brute-force UNIX password files
> for the purpose of making unauthorized use of private computers, some
> half-dozen or more packet sniffers to run illegal wiretaps, GNU shred to
> destroy evidence, and xvidtune to commit arson[1]. We still distribute
> those).

However, that does not mean the same is true for the upstream author;
and if he requests that you wait until he's checked with a lawyer, I
don't think it's unreasonable to do so.

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"Stop breathing down my neck." "My breathing is merely a simulation."
"So is my neck, stop it anyway!"
  -- Voyager's EMH versus the Prometheus' EMH, stardate 51462.

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