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Re: DomainKeys license(s)

This one time, at band camp, Ben Finney said:
> Magnus Holmgren <holmgren@lysator.liu.se> writes:
> > Since DFSG apparently (according to the recent discussion) only
> > deals with copyright and restrictions imposed by the copyright owner
> It's quite apparent from reading the DFSG that there's no such
> limitation. The DFSG in particular are concerned with the rights that
> pertain to the software as received by the user, and are not limited
> in domain to any specific legal system.

As I understand the issue, there are roughly three forms of things which
can encumber software: copyrights/licenses, trademarks, and patents.
Iterating over that list in a non-linear order:

trademarks are a no-op.  The DFSG allows for name-change clauses (DFSG 4).
This allows us to modify and redistribute without infringing trademarks
if need be.  No freedom issue here.

copyright/license issues are the mainstay of -legal for a very good reason
- these are cross jurisdictional.  If I obtain a piece of software under
a certain license, I am bound by the terms of that license whether I
live and work in the UK or Zimbabwe.

Patents on the other hand are completely jurisdiction dependant.  If there
is a software patent in the US, are you of the opinion that French Debian
developers should be bound by it?  In particular, the Chinese government
has shown itself to be quite happy to overlook Euro-American patents;
which legal system are you going to hold Chinese Debian developers to?

While it's true that the DFSG doesn't address these forms of restrictions
directly, arbitrarily stating that we should now respect random patent
rulings in random jurisdictions is not particularly helpful.  It has been
Debian's policy that we care about patents only when they are actively
enforced, and that seems a reasonably prudent path to me.  But to be
clear, this is not a freedom issue per se - we just can't do anything
about the government, even though the license itself might be free.

So, if the domain keys patent is under active enforcement, this software
probably should not be approved by the ftp masters.  If it is not under
active enforcement, and is under a free license, there is no reason not
to have it in main.
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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