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Interview: Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader

What’s your view on the encumbered patent deals that
some Linux distributions have signed up to (e.g. Xandros,
Linspire)? What do you think will be the effect on Linux in
particular and FOSS in general?

“I can understand that some companies may feel more comfortable
by signing that kind of deal to cover themselves. Some markets like
the US are notorious for problems with software patents, and I
guess it comes down to a simple business decision to weigh up the
costs of doing this kind of deal against the potential costs of a
legal defence against a patent attack (baseless or not)…”


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