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Re: mplayer, the time has come

Can this list PLEASE stop the belief that ducking your head in the sand in 
regard to patent violations saves you from increased liability?  Yes, if you 
willfully violate a patent you CAN be order to pay trebble damages, but that 
assumes that the patent infringer can show damages to be trippled in the 
first place.  Debain and its users are not going to ever be sued for money 
damages...  the most we could ever see is an equitable action ordering us to 
remove the offending package.  We just simply don't have the pockets to spend 
$$$ on a big trial.  

Further more, we would have a hell of a time proving that we aren't aware of 
the patent...  we know about it, anyone on this list, the DPL, we all know 
about the patents.  The more operative question is if we found the 
specification from the patent file, copied it, and then benefited.  As I 
doubt very much any Free Software developer has been grepping through the US 
Patent repository for ideas, this really isn't an issue.

As for the patents.txt itself, it is a very good statement of a debain 
developer to engage in due diligence...  usually "a good thing" (TM).

The debian-legal law school lurker,

On Thursday 24 February 2005 04:40 pm, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 10:08:42PM +0100, Sebastien NOEL wrote:
> > *   You removed libmpdvdkit2/ because US laws suck.
> >     Why don't you remove also libfaad2/ which is full of patents problems
> > ? (according to /usr/share/doc/ffmpeg/patents.txt.gz)
> I hope that isn't a file with descriptions of patents--anyone who reads
> such a thing would risk increased patent liability.  I'd rather not look
> for myself to find out, though.
> That said, are the patents supposedly affecting libfaad2 actively being
> enforced?  Debian's general policy on software patents is to ignore ones
> which aren't, since that's the only policy that allows anyone to do
> anything at all.
> > *   Why the "--disable-mencoder" in debian/rules ?
> >
> > *   Why the "--disable-aa" ?
> >     Ok caca is better than aa but it's not enabled either.
> libaa, the ASCII art library?  I'd hope that'd be disabled in the normal
> build.  It's a useless novelty; I certainly wouldn't want to have to
> install it to get a video player.  (Of course, if it can bind dynamically
> at runtime, that's not an issue; I don't know if it does that.)
> > (Maybe it's time to resurrect non-us)
> I don't know how many times this can be said: non-us is *not a solution*
> to patents affecting the US, and never has been.  AFAIK, non-us was an
> archive that was uploaded to from outside the US, but could be freely and
> legally used from inside the US--not an archive which was completely off-
> limits to the US.
> --
> Glenn Maynard

Sean Kellogg
2nd Year - University of Washington School of Law
GPSS Senator - Student Bar Association
Editor-at-Large - National ACS Blog [http://www.acsblog.org]
c: 206.498.8207    e: skellogg@u.washington.edu

So, let go
 ...Jump in
  ...Oh well, what you waiting for?
   ...it's all right
    ...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

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