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Re: New candidates for inclusion in Extras : udftools and starfighter-music

On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:30:03 +0100, Nils Philippsen wrote:

> On Fri, 2005-02-11 at 11:47 +0100, Michael Schwendt wrote:
> > So, Starfighter must be dropped as it is included already. I don't care
> > about those games.
> > 
> > All I want to learn in threads like this is where to draw the line with
> > regard to legal threats. And to develop a guideline for acting
> > responsibly.
> Again, I'm not a lawyer and all my opinions are, well, my opinions ;-).
> If you wish, I can ask our legal counsel about more definitive
> statements.

I've submitted a query about licencing issues in a different package
into the legal queue a few days ago.

> > I wonder what's more responsible? To exclude software only when clear
> > legal issues are seen, such as clearly conflicting licences, or to
> > exclude everything which might be a problem, but has not been a problem
> > according to common knowledge for many years ("mikmod" in Core is not seen
> > as a problem for the same reason I guess). There are file formats and
> > implementations which are "assumed to be free of royalties", but only
> > lawyers might be able to find out for sure.
> It's not the MOD format that we're discussing, it's including MODs (or
> derived files, in fact the format is completely irrelevant as is whether
> it is software or artwork or whatnot) where we don't know where they
> come from, i.e. don't know who produced them initially, under what terms
> they were released, etc.

The format suffers from similar problems. Or where do you see a
difference?  (I don't know how much you know about .mod history.)

> > Here, an accidental finding lead to discovering an unknown copyright
> > situation of music files. It is assumed that the author of the game took
> > music files he's not permitted to use and redistribute.
> Not quite. We are fairly sure that the author hasn't produced them by
> himself. We are not sure where he got them from and under what terms. If
> I get a tarball from someone under the GPL, I look at it briefly and see
> who produced it and that it is in fact licensed by the GPL. Barring any
> clues that suggest otherwise I will take that as a fact. As soon as
> there is some indication that this doesn't cover the whole package I
> will have to rethink which is what we do now, it is my responsibility to
> do so.

Doesn't contradict with what I wrote above.
> >  Similarly, his
> > other work (game design/concept) could be challenged, too. This gets more
> > interesting with regard to potentially patented technology, an area where
> > FUD strategies are very successful.
> This is similar with patents. If I don't think a certain piece of
> software could be endangered by a patent, I won't act as if it were. If
> people tell me that package foo could violate a patent that's where some
> investigation is due.
> Nils

The result of the investigation is the interesting bit. We've yet to deal
with some example cases, including _rumours_ of patent claims.

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