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Re: Bug#220464: gimp: LZW patent is still valid in Europe and Japan

I am copying debian-legal on this mail. Please include me on any replies, as I am not subscribed to that list.

Adrian Bunk wrote:

the LZW patent is still valid in Europe and Japan.

Due to the possible legal risk for your users in Europe and Japan it's still required to keep LZW code out of main.

I'm quite sure we have cryptographic software in main that is patent-encumbered and illegal for other reasons in many non-US countries worldwide. Isn't this exactly the same thing? It's been rehashed many times.

As far as I understand, at this point, the conclusion is that some patent-encumbered software is still allowed in main, as long as its distribution does not become "problematic" (Policy manual 2.2.3). How many countries need to have patents on a given piece of code before it becomes "problematic"?

I'm quite sure debian-legal will have more to say on this point.


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