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Re: AROS License DFSG ok?

On Sat, Jan 08, 2005 at 02:08:29PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > That's an ugly, fuzzy, ill-focused gray area, though.  We do require the rights
> > restricted by patents; but in the case where we don't have the right, but the
> > restriction isn't being enforced, we grunt and act as though we do.  The ugly
> > patent situation seems to make it impossible to treat everything with proper
> > consistency.  I don't like a line of reasoning that says "we don't require
> > the right to do the things restricted by patents", but at the same time, we
> > really don't require explicit patent licenses.
> There is a somewhat recursive, but self-consistent, way to deal with
> this.  We don't require explicit patent licenses when it appears the
> patents aren't being enforced.  Presence of these clauses is excellent
> evidence that the patents are being enforced -- or at least no longer
> *not* being enforced.

But this isn't really consistent with other practice: we might not really
have the "right" to do something without a license (although we might; 
it may not be patented), just as we might not have the right to copy a
document without a license (although we might; it may be in the public
domain).  They're treated differently for legitimate reasons, but it's
fundamentally not very consistent (patent law's failing, not Debian's).

(Of course, I'd like to be able to see this policy in a clear and consistent
way--if a way of looking at these policies can be suggested that's consistent,
great.  But the real laws we're dealing with--the stuff that's forcing some
of these policies--are inconsistent and broken, so not being able to have
as strict a patent policy as a copyright policy isn't unexpected.)

Glenn Maynard

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