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Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.

On Tue, Apr 05, 2005 at 03:57:01PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> The other point is that other entities, like redhat, or suse (which is now
> novel and thus ibm) and so have stronger backbones, and can more easily muster
> the ressources to fight of a legal case, even one which is a dubious one,
> especially given the particularities of the US judicial system, where it is
> less important to be right, and more important to have lot of money to throw
> at your legal machine. Debian has nothing such, and SPI which would stand for
> this, is not really upto it either, so in this case, apart from all ideology
> and fanatism, it is for purely pragmatic reasons that they don't distribute
> undistributable files from the non-free part of our archive. You would do the
> same in their case.

There are many possible legal risks for a Linux distribution.

This thread is about one.

Another one is that RedHat removed MP3 support in their distribution 
from programs like xmms ages ago because of the legal risks due to 
patents. The Debian distribution still contains software that is capable 
of playing MP3's.

I'd say of the two above cases, the MP3 patents are far more likely to 
cause a lawsuit.


If your statement was true that Debian must take more care regarding 
legal risks than commercial distributions, can you explain why Debian 
exposes the legal risks of distributing software capable of decoding 
MP3's to all of it's mirrors?

> Friendly,
> Sven Luther



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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