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Re: deregulate/purge "non-free"; merge "contrib" & "main"

On Wed, 23 Jun 1999, Darren O. Benham wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 23, 1999 at 03:16:24PM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > The license is still free, even though the code may "legally" infringe on
> > someone's patent "rights".
> I could be mistaken here, do we not have stuff in non-free because of
> patent issues?

Probably, and it's probably the right thing to do, as a CYA proceedure. It
isn't right to make general decissions based on these exceptional cases.

It isn't clear to me, just who would be liable if we _did_ treat this
software as though it were free. Since we seem to be able to distribute
such software under non-free, without liability, why should we incure more
liability from placing such code into main?

I think I just convinced myself to take the opposite view I started from.

No, I don't see any reason why patent infringing code, that can be
distributed in non-free and has a free license, shouldn't go into the main

On the other hand, we put other software into non-free for the specific
reason that if that software is distributed in a specific manner (like on
a CD) that the distributor becomes liable for something (paying a fee for
instance) that is not required of the software in main. We do that to
protect those vendors, no, more to point out to them that they must check
the license of each package in non-free to determine if they may
distribute it. Moving a free-but-patent-restricted package into main would
require a section for such gotchas, and we are back to needing non-free.

I seem to be back where we started. (which seems to be the way this
discussion always ends up ;-)


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aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
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