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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] OpenJDK international use restrictions

From: Jason Self
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] OpenJDK international use restrictions
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:16:28 -0700 (PDT)

Their message seems to indicate that they're blocking access from
certain IP ranges. This tells me that they're only talking of what
they do to comply with U.S. export laws, not making it a part of the

Hence, let's go back to the FSF's Free Software Definition. The whole
thing is relevant but specifically the second paragraph below...

Sometimes government export control regulations and trade sanctions
can constrain your freedom to distribute copies of programs
internationally. Software developers do not have the power to
eliminate or override these restrictions, but what they can and must
do is refuse to impose them as conditions of use of the program. In
this way, the restrictions will not affect activities and people
outside the jurisdictions of these governments. Thus, free software
licenses must not require obedience to any nontrivial export
regulations as a condition of exercising any of the essential freedoms.

Merely mentioning the existence of export regulations, without making
them a condition of the license itself, is acceptable since it does
not restrict users. If an export regulation is actually trivial for
free software, then requiring it as a condition is not an actual
problem; however, it is a potential problem, since a later change in
export law could make the requirement nontrivial and thus render the
software nonfree. 

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