[Spi-private] IRC log from 2003-02-04 SPI Board meeting

Nick Phillips nwp at nz.lemon-computing.com
Sat Mar 1 07:41:16 UTC 2003

On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 12:56:37PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:

> > > > Fair enough. But on the other hand, I guess SPI has to decide whether
> > > > *it* wants to take up any risks and stand up for whatever code it
> > > > accepted. What happens if some company decides they have a patent on
> > > > something and tries to sue us into oblivion?
> > > 
> > > We say we didn't know and remove the code ?
> > 
> > Well, we can do that once or twice. But assume that the threat is really
> > questionable (like, a trivial patent or a so-called DMCA-violation) but
> We have to take care about not letting patent or DMCA violations we know
> about in, or something such, or move these to free repositories outside
> the US or whatever. If we act in good faith, and respond aprprietely to
> a cease-and-desist move or whatever, there is nothing that whoever is
> going to sue us can do. After all, we are no patent lawyers.
> There was also an jurisprudence or whatever saying that you cannot
> prosecute people that didn't know they were violating patents.

Besides which is there any reason that being the copyright holder suddenly
makes you liable for people's distributing/using code in violation of whatever
patent? Or that someone assigning copyright to you suddenly puts you into
a situation where you're violating the DMCA? (oh, and two fingers to any
DMCA supporters who may happen to read this, BTW)

If we're distributing code, we may get into trouble. Debian does this all
the time. What difference does it make to that liability if SPI happens
to be the copyright holder? None, I'd guess.

But IANAL etc. etc.


Nick Phillips -- nwp at lemon-computing.com
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