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Re: Non-free package licenses and replacements



[I'm subscribed to -devel but not -vote or -legal, so please CC appropriately.]

> I've put up a web page listing possible replacements for packages
> currently in non-free. There are still lot of blanks - please give
> suggestions. Perhaps this page can help in the discussion about
> removing non-free.

[ncompress]

I would like to move this from non-free to main.   However, like you
say, there are issues with the LZW patent.  Although the LZW patent has
expired in the U.S. already, and is due to expire this year in Europe,
Canada and Japan, I guess there might be other jurisdictions where the
patent will continue to be in effect.  

I have to admit, I don't completely understand why we're able to
distribute LZW-encumbered code *at all*, regardless of the section the
code is in.  That's perhaps a topic for some other day.

It would be really nice if we could decide once and for all the
circumstances under which LZW-encumbered code could be put into main.
That way, I'd have a legitimate answer when I get those periodic
wishlist bugs that say "put this in main!".  Anyone care to make a
proclamation?  :-)

KEN

-- 
Kenneth J. Pronovici <pronovic@debian.org>

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