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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2006 at 02:38:55PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org>
> > On Wed, Jun 07, 2006 at 09:41:27AM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > Cool.  Where is this effect of sections 2(f)(i) and 14 disputed?  I've
> > > seen repeated claims that we're not liable for Sun's changes and downstream
> > > changes, but not upstream changes of parts of the Operating System.
> > 
> > Really, how is that any relevant? Can you come up with a real-life
> > scenario (as in, something which actually occurred) where a change to,
> > say, glibc or something similar made some other application break in
> > such a way that it would no longer behave as documented?
> Why do I need a case where some other application breaks?
> The indemnification is for problems in the Operating System,
> not only for Sun Java.

Right. And what's wrong with that? Why do you think it's sane to allow
loonies to sue Sun over stuff they have nothing, but really _nothing_ to
do with? Like, some loonie wants to sue us over his FTP server that
went berzerk, finds out that Debian doesn't have a lot of money, and
then sues Sun because, hey, there's this Java binary in the same Debian
which just _happens_ to be owned by Sun?

Sure, I'd prefer if loonies would avoid sueing at all. But if they are
going to do that, whether or not there is an idemnification clause on
some licence for a software package by Sun isn't going to help us any,
because either the loonie is going to sue both us and Sun (so we'd be in
court anyway), or the loonie is going to sue Sun first, who would
presumably then manage to convince the judge that they're not at fault
and that it's us the loonie has to get after (and then we'd be in court
as well).

> [...]
> > and it would seem that for any case where the effects are much wider
> > than just Debian, it can reasonably be argued that the problems are, not
> > under our control, which would free us from the burden of having to
> > idemnify Sun.
> How does it do that?  In general, upstreams are not allowed
> to change directly what is released as Debian.  Ultimately,
> it's debian developers that decide what modifications are made
> to the Operating System and are controlled (heh!) and directed
> by the various project agreements and processes, so I don't
> see how those modifications are excluded.

If it occurs everywhere, it could reasonably be argued that either the
JDK is buggy, or not tested well enough.

Alternatively, I don't think it's hard for a judge to understand that
there is this piece of software which we indeed do distribute, but which
is used by many other people as well, and they all exhibit the same
flaw; so even if we allowed the bug to slip in, it's not really our

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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