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Re: Software patents and Debian

On 8/18/06, Weakish Jiang <weakish@gmail.com> wrote:
Stephen Gran wrote:

>> Unless the patent is licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at
>> all, it won't conform to the DFSG, even if it is not actively enforced.
> This is untrue.  The DGSF does not address patents.  It's also the
> opposite of current practice.

I think it's against the DFSG1 "Free Redistribution" and the DFSG3
"Derived Works".

If that were true, then ffmpeg[1] should be removed from main.

If Debian distributes these software via main, users may thought they
are free of problem, and, say, modify or/and redistribute it for profit.
Then the patent owner sue them. Is this the good behavior for us to set
up this situation?

At least with ffmpeg[1] this seems to be exactly what Debian is doing.
And according to [2] it is causing problems for commercial users.

So whether this is good behaviour or not, Debian is currently doing just that.

IMO, we shouldn't put them in main, in order to reminder users.

[1] http://packages.debian.org/stable/graphics/ffmpeg
[2] http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/legal.html

Markus Laire

DISCLAIMER: IANAL, IANADD, and I'm not active with Debian, except by
reading few mailing lists.

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