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Java in Debian advice result

Back in summer 2006, there was a thread regarding the inclusion of Sun's
Java under the DLJ in Debian's non-free area on its FTP site.

Questions about the license were raised at that time.  In my
then-capacity as president of SPI, I asked SPI's attorney to give advice
on the questions.  For various reasons, we just recently have the
answers back.

Current DPL Anthony Towns and SPI President Bdale Garbee have asked me
to summarize the situation here.  SPI's attorney has asked that his
messages not be posted to public mailing lists for reasons of
attorney-client privilege.

The short answer is that there should not be a legal liability on SPI
from this action.  Due to the indemnification clause in the Sun license,
there is a possibility -- though it is remote -- of legal liability on
some or all Debian developers.  Just whom such theoritical liability
would rest upon depends on whether the ftpmasters are acting on their
own behalf or on that of the organization, which is unclear
legally-speaking at the present moment.  This particular issue does not
appear to be serious, given the particulars of the license in question,
but Debian has been encouraged to clarify exactly what actions the
ftpmasters are permitted to take on behalf of the Debian project both
for this and for any future questions.

-- John

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