Cease and desist orders for distributing Debian is a prank
April 27th, 2011
Currently the case of an alleged
cease and desist order received by a
German Debian user is causing quite a stir. In a faked lawyer's letter the user was
accused of violating the rights of a Dutch company by distributing the Debian
operating system via BitTorrent.
It has now turned out that the
cease and desist order was a
bad prank, and that the accusation as well as the Dutch company were made
up. Parallel investigations by the Debian Project had also resulted in the
conclusion that the Debian Project doesn't and never did distribute
any works of the (imaginary) Dutch company.
Immediately contacting Debian and a lawyer was exactly the right
way to react. says Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Press Officer and
member of Debian's FTP Team:
Because of the Debian Free Software Guidelines distributing the Debian
Operating System is perfectly legal, and is not only accepted but highly
encouraged by the Debian Project.
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.
For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <email@example.com>.