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Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ now available

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the availability of the Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ [1], a document meant to educate Free Software developers, and especially distribution editors, about software patent risks.

1: http://www.debian.org/reports/patent-faq

The FAQ has been prepared by lawyers at Software Freedom Law Center [2]
(SFLC) at the request of and with input from the Debian Project. While
the document does not constitute legal advice, it provides insights on
dealing with software patents, which might be applicable to other
community-driven Free Software distributions.

2: http://www.softwarefreedom.org

The Debian Project maintains a critical stance towards software patents:
we consider software patents a threat to Free Software and we believe
they provide no advantages in promoting software innovation.

At the same time, given the ‘de facto’ possibility of patenting software
related ideas in several countries around the world, it is important for
Free Software developers and distributors to neither underestimate nor
overestimate software patent issues. “Patent FUD is a serious problem,
as is the risk of patent aggression against Free Software,” said Eben
Moglen, founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center. “SFLC is
pleased to work with Debian to help volunteers for community
distributions everywhere understand the real risks, and real solutions,
without being disheartened by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

We believe that the Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ helps in
that respect and we are glad to make it available to others. “Debian, as
many other community distributions, has often had troubles in assessing
the risks of patent aggression toward volunteer developers. I’m glad and
thrilled about the opportunity we have of collaborating with SFLC to
shed some light on these matters.” said Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian
Project Leader. “We will do our best to disseminate our findings, in a
humble attempt to minimize the damages that software patents, and some
of their myths, cause every day to Free Software.”

About Debian
————
The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free
community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the
largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of
volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain
Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range
of computer types, Debian calls itself the “universal operating system”.

Contact Information
——————-
For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to .

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