Re: proposed new pseudo-package 'debian-mentors' for handling sponsoring requests
But in setting it up in the US, don't you only have to care about US law?
On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM, Russ Allbery <email@example.com> wrote:
> Michael van der Kolff <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> IANAL, etc., but how about getting some legal advice on this? It seems
>> to me it wouldn't be nearly as cut and dried as all that; have you
>> examined whether or not such a scheme could be set up in such a way that
>> makes it a DMCA safe harbour?
> DMCA safe harbor is a property of a US law and does nothing to prevent
> lawsuits in Europe. That's part of the complexity.
> I didn't say that debian-mentors would pose legal problems necessarily,
> only that it's not equivalent to NEW. I know that the way Debian handles
> NEW is fairly legally safe because it was set up that way on the advice of
> lawyers. I don't know if there are other ways to set this up with
> different requirements and a different profile that would be equally safe.
> I suspect that someone would need to ask.
> The Debian project gets pro bono legal counsel, but one of the
> disadvantages of that relationship is that it's very slow to get advice on
> specific subjects because we ask a lot of strange questions and the amount
> of legal advice we can get is fairly limited. I believe the DPL is
> already managing a fairly long backlog of legal questions, so I wouldn't
> be too hopeful about getting legal advice in a particularly timely
> The problem with all legal issues like this is that they're very much like
> security issues: doing things properly and doing things improperly are
> almost indistinguishable in practice until a problem occurs, at which
> point you discover you were doing things improperly. It's very difficult
> to distinguish between doing the right thing and being too cautious, since
> they both look exactly the same on a day-to-day basis (nothing happens),
> and very similar to doing the wrong things and just getting lucky
> (likewise, nothing happens). That's why people tend towards being
> conservative and doing exactly the same thing as was done somewhere else,
> since there *is* safety in numbers in legal precedent and even accepted
> best practice, and you have a better chance of being warned in advance by
> a lawsuit against someone else.
> Right now, my guess is that the current debian-mentors setup is doing the
> "wrong" thing (in that few effective precautions are being taken against
> distributing unredistributable material) and getting lucky, in that it's
> both not really a target and the people using the service are generally
> trying to do the right thing and any uploads of non-redistributable
> material is both by mistake and not of the sort of thing people would sue
> over. But in the current environment where nonsense like SOPA and PIPA in
> the US are actually being seriously considered (if, thankfully, not yet
> passed), it's probably worth being somewhat paranoid about things that get
> the official imprimatur of the project. And I'm certainly not a lawyer
> and this is just my guess.
> Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>
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