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Re: German government press release on Wassenaar (fwd)

I think the key idea which allows Open Source to be exempted is based on
the availability to all eyes of the technology--not the legal rights
attached to the software.

The fact that the knowledge contained in Open Source software is available
to all is the key. The legal right to use that knowledge is not quite the
issue. If the knowledge in the software becomes "common knowledge" then
defining its (illegal) export becomes extremely difficult.

>From this point of view, I agree with the author of the original
statement--this could be a very important boost for Open Source crypto.


>Forwarded message:
>> Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 22:50:04 +0100
>> From: Alexander Kjeldaas <[email protected]>
>> Subject: Re: German government press release on Wassenaar
>> I applied for an examination of the Open Source definition to the
>> department for foreign affairs in Norway.  The response (no surprise)
>> was that Open Source is compliant with what the Wassenaar-agreement
>> calls "public domain" software.
>Actualy that is surprising since Open Sourse does not imply the loss of
>rights by the author as public domain does.
>If this is so and Germany interprets Open Source in this way then the OS
>movement will fail in Germany (at least). There will be no motive for
>authors to release their work since they will be in effect releasing all
>rights to it, not the goal of OS at all. The impact on this for closed source
>derivitive products is also of some interest.
>I wonder what RMS will have to say on that one...
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