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GIF patent [Debian Weekly News - March 2nd, 2004]

On Tue, 2004-03-02 at 21:04, Martin Schulze wrote:
> Bradley Kuhn reminded us of the [4]GIF patent that IBM
> holds until 2006, even though the Unisys patent will expire soon.
> 4. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gif.html

Right. And this is how I responded:

> In the thread at debian-legal, we also concluded that it doesn't
> make sense to respect every stupid patent because then we could just
> discontinue to work on Debian and GNU. Anthony DeRobertis noted that we
> just care about companies known to haunt patent infringements by Free
> Software. Even if IBM would start to do that, we would be in a good
> position because because of the Unisys patent, the "invention" of IBM is
> legally to consider as prior art and therefore void.

Bradley considered this a "reasonable position".

If we don't have decided otherwise on debian-legal until 7 July, I will
probably start to move the packages in question to main together with
Andreas Barth.

But if we decide to be more pedantic about this one (extend the waiting
period) I will set hyperlatex free for adoption (or orphan it). Note
that in this case we should seriously think about removing GTK+, Qt etc.
from main because of the reasons discussed earlier on debian-legal [1].


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/debian-legal-200402/msg00168.html

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