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Re: No mention of "patents" in DFSG

On Thu, 4 Oct 2007 17:04:25 +0200 Richard Spindler wrote:

> Hi,
> I just studied the Debian Free Software Guidelines, in search of a
> statement about so called "Software Patents", and how they are
> considered when including software into the debian archive.
> However, I could not find anything about that topic.

Please note that there is no explicit mention of "copyright" either.

> Are the guidelines implicitly sufficient when dealing with such
> issues? If yes, it would be nice to have a pointer to some kind of FAQ
> document, that outlines how the DFSG are to be interpreted in respect
> to this topic?

The following might help, maybe:

> Is there a consensus in the debian community about how to deal with
> "Software Patents" and the inclusion of software into the debian
> archive?

AFAICT, the Debian Project worries about software patents only when
there's known history of active enforcement of the patent the package
infringes on *and* there's no permissive patent license available to the
general public.

This is a practical rule, due to the fact that, should the Debian
Project refrain from distributing any package infringing on at
least one patent in at least one jurisdiction, well, there
would *not* be a Debian system at all!

Usual big disclaimers:

 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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