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Re: Re: Debian "Position" on Software Patents

Hi MJ,

MJ Ray wrote:

Also, can the DPL really not just issue this position statement
as a "decision for whom noone else has responsibility"?  I'm
pretty sure the DPL procedure (such as it is) was followed: that
zack solicited views and made a decision he felt to be consistent
with the consensus.

Members are responsible for issuing position statements (4.1, 5.):

Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and statements.

These include documents describing the goals of the project, its relationship with other free software entities, and nontechnical policies such as the free software licence terms that Debian software must meet.

They may also include position statements about issues of the day.

  1. A Foundation Document is a document or statement regarded as critical to the Project's mission and purposes.
  2. The Foundation Documents are the works entitled Debian Social Contract and Debian Free Software Guidelines.
  3. A Foundation Document requires a 3:1 majority for its supersession. New Foundation Documents are issued and existing ones withdrawn by amending the list of Foundation Documents in this constitution.


Personally, I'm uncomfortable with point 5, but I think I'm living in
a country where legislation prohibits software patents and there isn't
a specific increase in punishment if you might have read emails form a
third party about a possible patent infringement (but I could be
wrong).  I think the request to focus patent topics on one contact
point is to protect less fortunate developers: there are some, aren't
there?  In the USA with its crazy anti-free-enterprise software patent

To be clear, I didn't mean to say that point 5 doesn't have any interest for Debian. I agree it may help defend against accusations of patent infringement.

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