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Re: quake2 and german youth protection law

MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> writes:

>> Hm. Nobody seems to disagree, right?
> This was on the end of a very long email originally, so I don't
> think you can tell much from lack of disagreement.  Disagree with

That's why I repeated it.

> what, anyway? You have posted little about what you intend to
> say. I suspect my conclusions are different to yours:

My research has shown that quake2 and quake2-data seem to conflict
with german youth protection law. In a discussion on d-l, my
conclusions have been accepted. That was my impression until I read
your mail. Right now, my conclusions are not that defined: I'm
wondering at which point specifically you don't follow my explanation
of the german youth protection law.

> I am strongly against directing the German mirror admins about
> such an unclear problem. If you want to send them a "this law
> may be a problem" statement, fine, but maybe that should go
> through debian-mirrors and/or debian-user-german.

What part of the problem is unclear to you? The text of the law seems
to say that Debian shouldn't distribute packages in Germany that
result in installation of something very similar to Quake II, as
banned by the federal government. The literature as far as I read it
seems to agree.

Of course this is nothing definitive like a court ruling, but from my
point of view this isn't very unclear either. It's a well-founded
legal opinion, I'd say.

And what do you mean by "maybe this should go through..."? Do you want
me to ask for consensus there first? For a mail saying "my legal
research says this is a problem"? Seriously?

Sorry, but my time is limited. I want to help the Debian project to
avoid legal trouble, but that's going only so far. I am not going to
force anybody to listen to something he/she doesn't want to hear.

> It would probably be helpful to ask FFII's German branches
> about this. My German isn't good enough to write that.
> http://bb.ffii.org/ http://muenchen.ffii.org/

Hm. I don't know them, but their web page seems to say they are
lobbyists, informing people about the drawbacks of software
patents. How does Quake II relate to software patents? Are there any
law professionals involved in the FFII, preferably german-speaking

According to their web page, the FSF Europe seems to follow a more
broad approach, but they don't seem to have a legal discussion
list. The Creative Commons team is working with two german law
institutes (listed on the CC web page). You could ask them for their
advice on this.

>> I will inform the german mirror admin tomorrow.
> There are around 25 mirrors in Germany that we know about.

Good point. I was thinking of ftp.de.debian.org

My conclusion right now: Either you come up with specific criticism,
or you decide to ask those free software law institutes for advice
(yes, they do speak english, just point them to this
thread). Otherwise I'd say my findings are still valid and mail those
mirrors accordingly.

What do you say?

Michael Below

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