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Re: Software patents and Debian

On Sun, Aug 20, 2006 at 11:02:17PM +0800, Weakish Jiang wrote:
> Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > Weakish Jiang <weakish@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> >> Why we have main/Non-US?
> > 1) We don't. The Packages file is empty these days.
> So we can make use of it. :)

This would be non-US-Japan-UK-Germany (IIRC), but it's a good idea.
Too bad, there are other issues than just patents.  Bad DMCA-like
laws are just one of examples.
> That is to say, these files in main/Non-US is conform to the DFSG, we
> don't put it in main just because we should respect the US law.

Respecting the US law is unfortunately a must as much of Debian's
infrastructure resides in the US.  This is not the case for China or
Iran, so that's why the US had to be special-cased but not China nor

> If we should avoid exporting cryptography out of the US when it was
> illegal to do so, and put the code on a server outside the US, IMO, we
> should avoid distribute patented software when it was illegal to do so,
> and place the code on a server outside the US.

Hell yeah.  You see, even if mr Marillat does a good job, there is no
reason to keep a bunch of good, DFSG-free software out of Debian just
because there exists a country where it is illegal.

Reviving non-US and renaming it appropiately would be nice.  Of
course, the current non-US server resides in Germany and Germany is
one of the rogue countries...

1KB		// Microsoft corollary to Hanlon's razor:
		//	Never attribute to stupidity what can be
		//	adequately explained by malice.

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