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Re: Debian policy on copyright

Marty wrote:
> Any piece of digital "content" is a single number

Which does not imply that any number can be a copyrightable work. At
least I don't recall sending royalty checks to the inventors of the zero.

In this specific case, IMHO the key in question is not copyrightable
because no “original work of authorship” was done to generate it. It was
produced randomly, the same as any other key. You can find a large
number of other such keys (although much, much longer than this weak
key) in the debian-keyring package. Debian does not seek any kind of
copyright permission to distribute those keys. The package's copyright
file says: "The keys in the keyrings don't fall under any copyright."
Another example is the ca-certificates package, which contains a lot of
public keys that are owned by large companies, which Debian does not
have to worry about copyright issues in distributing. The only copyright
claimed on those is a compilation copyright from the Mozilla project.

This particular number was a trade secret (which implies no particular
legal protection) and is currently something that a big corportation
with lots of lawyers is being a pest about people distributing, and that
is the only pragmatic reason that I can see that it won't be uploaded to
Debian tomorrow. Although using it as the version number for a peice of
software would be sorta amusing.

> I have long questioned whether copyright can be clearly enough defined to 
> be generally enforceable.

The same can be said about anything from murder to jaywalking.
This is why we have judges who generate case law.

see shy jo

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