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Re: mplayer, the time has come

On Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 08:52:12PM -0800, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> 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.  

Whether Debian or its users will be sued due to the contents of Debian
is not the issue.  In case you've unaware, many of Debian's users engage
in projects and employment and ventures that have nothing at all to do
with Debian, and yet they can still become aware of a patent due to
reading it in Debian documentation.  None of this has anything to do
with any possible infringement by Debian itself.

(At least this particular case has a reasonably descriptive filename--I'm
probably not going to accidentally read a file named "patents.txt".  Too
often, people start talking about patent specifics in the middle of an
email ...)

> 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 

I don't even know which patents are under discussion, and I certainly don't
know their scope; all I know is it's something related to DVD decoding.

Glenn Maynard

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