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Re: quake2 and german youth protection law

Michael Below <mbelow@antithese.de> wrote:
> My research has shown that quake2 and quake2-data seem to conflict
> with german youth protection law.

As I understand it, you are relying on them being regarded
"im wesentlichen" the same as a Windows-based quake2 CD.
I don't know how that term is seen by German law.  From
bugs.debian.org/313159, you weren't either. What has convinced
you so strongly since then?

There was a post pointing out that quake2 is probably not
offensive and quake2-data does not contain the questionable
content and that post went unchallenged.

I questioned the victims of this problem and received no answer,
although you replied that you would try to look it up. It is
possible that this law may affect all EU or world mirrors.

> In a discussion on d-l, my conclusions have been accepted.

There were no replies to your latest claims. Who do you believe
accepted your conclusions?

Considering others shown on http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/ -

Maybe disagreed with your interpretation or proposed action:
MJ Ray, Måns Rullgård, Baltasar Cevc, Don Armstrong,
Florian Weimer

Not much opinion about quake2 AFAICT: Kai Blin, Francesco Poli

Maybe agreed with you: Humberto Massa Guimarães

More significantly, the package maintainer is unconvinced on
bugs.debian.org/313159 and I don't think this will convince.

> 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 think I follow it, but I am unconvinced by your interpretation.

Why? Well, I don't know Michael Below from Adam. One homepage
is 404 not found, others date from 1998. As far as I can
tell, background includes student radio, atom tech and
socio-economics. My background includes getting punished for
copyright infringement, so I'm healthily cautious about laws.
Why should I trust a law interpretation from Michael Below?

> > 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.
> And what do you mean by "maybe this should go through..."? [...]

I mean, use that for your announcement rather than direct email.

> > 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?

It doesn't. That is their main campaign, but they are more
generally concerned with a free information infrastructure.

> Are there any law professionals involved in the FFII,
> preferably german-speaking ones?


> 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.

I have a route to do so and will do.

> 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 have found local CC groups to be rather variable. Not all
are much concerned with free/liberal distribution (but some are).

> >> 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).

I consider it arrogant to write in my native language to a foreign
language list about foreign laws when an alternative is obvious.

> Otherwise I'd say my findings are still valid and mail those
> mirrors accordingly.
> What do you say?

I say: you are an aggressive person of undisclosed origin who
wishes to claim a backing from debian-legal that you do not have,
for an argument based on a questionable-looking interpretation,
in order to alarm mirror operators and make much work for FTP and
CD maintainers. You should at least disclose your credentials and 
do tasks to which you committed. At best, you could build
consensus rather than defeat challenges.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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