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    GNOME/Bitstream agreement (compatible with DFSG?)
    Submitted by comewhatmay on Thursday, January 23, 2003 – 01:46
    DebianEveryone is having a party over the arrival of some nice fonts. But I wonder about the terms of the agreement. Specifically:

    The fonts cannot be packaged by themselves for sale, but can be sold with any software.

    Now, if the fonts were put into a Debian package, then it’s illegal to put that package by itself on a CD and sell it? That’s allowed within the DFSG?

    DanielS: The fonts are entirely non-DFSG-free. You can get around the restriction mentioned below, however, by merely compiling a “Hello World!” program in C, and then putting them on a CD. Companies could even sell the CDs for $1000 per seat or such, which makes that clause not only useless, but counter-productive (preventing it going into Debian).

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    Subject: That sounds out of character
    Author: alp
    Date: Friday, 2003/01/24 – 04:37
    That sounds out of character for RedHat. Recently they’ve been paying a lot of attention to shipping free software, even to the extent of dropping all MP3 decoders from the distribution. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until they ship their next release, as they seem to have been “getting it” lately.
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    Subject: clearly you don’t understand Red Hat’s issue
    Author: JoeBuck
    Date: Tuesday, 2003/01/28 – 01:54
    Red Hat is a public corporation with a substantial hunk of cash still left from their various rounds of funding. Accordingly, they are a suit magnet. They feel that they can’t afford to be sued by patent holders. That’s why they won’t touch MP3, not because it isn’t DFSG-free, but because it could subject them to legal liability and demands for payment. Trying to settle the issue by paying some royalty wouldn’t work either, because they’d probably have to agree to some kind of limitation that would violate the GPL.

    There’s no such issue with the Bitstream donation; putting that stuff into Red Hat will not cause them any trouble in distributing their distro for free and allowing others to copy it for free.

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