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

Adrian Bunk wrote:

Section 2.2.3 of your policy says:

    Packages must be placed in _non-free_ or _non-US/non-free_ if they are
    not compliant with the DFSG or are encumbered by patents or other
    legal issues that make their distribution problematic.

This section clearly states, that packages that "are encumbered by patents" must go to non-free. The "their distribution problematic" only refers to the "other legal issues".

Ah. I parsed it as (patents that make their distribution problematic) or (other issues that make their distribution problematic).

Maybe we need more operator precedence in English..

In any case, I've brought this up to upstream several times, and each time they've given a very uncaring attitude back. I suppose all that we can do is to constantly remove the code from the .orig.tar.gz for every version for the future, but we need replacement gif and tiff plug-ins.

Still, it's very unclear exactly which countries have to have patents on an algorithm to make it go into non-free. Do we care, as a silly example, if China or Uzbekistan have patents on printing "Hello, world"? Would we have to put GNU hello into non-free because people in China then couldn't legally distribute Debian?


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