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Re: Preparation of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2 (II)



On Sun, Nov 16, 2003 at 04:30:26PM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> Kenshi Muto wrote:
> > At Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:59:24 +0100,
> > Martin Schulze wrote:
> > > Preparation of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2
> > > =====================================

> > > An up-to-date version is at <http://master.debian.org/~joey/3.0r2/>.

> > > I am preparing the second revision of the current stable Debian
> > > distribution (woody) which will probably be released soon.  This
> > > report is to allow people to comment on it and intervene whenever
> > > this is required.

> > > If you disagree with one bit or another, please reply to this mail and
> > > explain why these things should be handled differently.  There is
> > > still time to reconsider.

> > Please, please wait.
> > Before you release r2, we must solve Japanese Watanabe font problem.
> > See http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200310/msg00142.html

> If I understood you correctly, you want me to remove these packages:

> ttf-kochi-mincho
> ttf-kochi-mincho-naga10
> ttf-xwatanabe-mincho
> watanabe-vfont
> ttf-xtt-wadalab-gothic (source ttf-xtt)
> ttf-xtt-watanabe-mincho (source ttf-xtt)

> from the stable distribution due to license problems, right?

> That is possible.

I'm not sure there's any reason to believe that there are licensing
problems with these fonts.

The official reply from Hitachi on this question, as posted at
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200310/msg00323.html>,
seems quite unambiguous: they acknowledge that there are no laws on the
books, in Japan or elsewhere, which give them grounds to claim that
these fonts infringe their intellectual property rights.  Rather, they
have referenced previous out-of-court settlements as precedent.  Unless
Japanese law is created in a much different manner than it is in the
rest of the world, the results of out-of-court settlements do not
constitute legal precedents; they may provide insight into the legal
counsel's assessment of their chances of winning a suit, but there are
other factors that contribute to such an assessment besides the letter
of the law -- most notably, the respective depths of the parties'
pockets.

I don't believe that Debian should ingratiate itself to corporations who
throw their weight around to carve out intellectual property without the
sanction of the courts.  Unless and until Hitachi is taking legal action
against our distributors or users in Japan, I think Debian ought to
ignore these apparently baseless claims.

-- 
Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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