Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (349 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-buildservice] Re: How secure is openSUSE build service?
  • From: "Benji Weber" <b.weber@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2007 09:33:10 +0000
  • Message-id: <d6b310ce0711030233j5593e1fay31df322cefb0cc9f@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 03/11/2007, Aniruddha <mailing_list@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I know the link. Apparently according to this article it's not an legal
but an ethical issue.

No, it's a legal issue as well. Using patent & copyright infringing
things is never really an issue. Distribution of infringing software
most certainly is an issue.

Knowing distribution of something like xine mp3 support by an american
company would be in violation of the mp3 patent, would make them
liable. Furthermore the GPL does not grant permission to distribute
software that is encumbered from distribution by patents unless you
can extend the patent protection to all potential distributees, and
their distributees etc. So it would be in violation of both patent
licence making Novell liable to the patent holders, and potentially to
the software authors.

Similar problems exist for other software, e.g. the nvidia driver is
non-gpl, yet is a derived work of the kernel which is GPL.
Distribution the driver in a form linked against the kernel is in
violation of the GPL, and violates the kernel developer's copyright.

However, the GPL only applies restrictions to distribution, not to
usage. And in almost all the world software patents are not an issue.
So it's ok for users to use these restricted formats, but not OK for
Novell to distribute them.

--
Benjamin Weber
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