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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

Mike Bird writes ("Re: Sun Java available from non-free"):
> Non-freeness is a red herring.  The issue is that a "small cabal" -
> - a small cabal operating outside its field of expertise - has
> placed Debian in the position of indemnifying Sun.

This is obviously not possible.

Debian is not a legal entity and can't indemnify anyone.

SPI _is_ a legal entity but Debian developers, including the
ftpmasters, are not empowered by the SPI Board to indemnify anyone
(and if the SPI Board were asked to indemnify anyone we would almost
certainly decline - we've done so in the past[1]).  Furthermore, none
of the ftpmasters or Debian developers have asserted that they speak
on behalf of SPI (at least as far as the SPI Board is aware - if they
have claimed to speak for SPI then please let us know immediately so
that we can clarify the situation).

Mirror operators may or may not be violating Sun's licence but if Sun
think theire is a violation then they have only to ask and Debian
participants (including the mirrors) will desist at once.  It's clear
that mirror operators aren't indemnifying Sun; they probably haven't
even heard about this licence.  They might be violating Sun's
copyright I suppose but Sun have repeatedly assured us that it's all
right so they'll have difficulty if they turn round and try to say
otherwise in court.

So who, if anyone, might be indemnifying Sun ?  Perhaps the Maintainer
and perhaps the ftpmasters.  Surely that's their personal decision to
make.  If I were them I would certainly think twice but they're not
putting anyone else at risk.


[1] Eg, Debian is not LSB-certified at least in part because the
certification agreement would have required SPI to indemnify people
against Developers' (and CD resellers!) mistakes.

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