[Mageia-dev] Mageia repository sections, licenses, restrictions, firmware etc

Michael Scherer misc at zarb.org
Wed Oct 13 20:22:01 CEST 2010

Le mardi 12 octobre 2010 à 18:02 +0300, Anssi Hannula a écrit :
> Hi all!
> Do people have any thoughts on what kind of repository/media sectioning we 
> should use on Mageia, and what should those sections contain?
> Note that I won't talk about backports / private repositories in this post, 
> only about the basic sectioning and packages in those.
> Some points to consider (I've written my opinion in ones where I have one):
> == Do we want a separated core repository?
> No separated core: Fedora, Debian, Opensuse
> Separated core: Mandriva (main), Ubuntu (main), Arch (Core)

How do we decide what would be in core ?

> == How are the sections named? :)
> I think I'm in favor of renaming 'contrib' to 'extra'.

+1, if we decide to keep contrib

> == Where do firmware without license go (DVB, V4L, etc)?
> To unsupported non-free repository: Ubuntu (multiverse) [1],
> To unsupported repository without binary packages: Arch (AUR)
> Nowhere: Debian, Fedora, Opensuse, Mandriva
> I guess for this one I'd prefer a helper draktool to handle/download these 
> instead of shipping them ourselves.

If there is no licence, I would say "Nowhere". This is just illegal
under most country laws, despites likely to be uneforced by
rightholders. So, even if I think the legal risk is low, I would say
"no" because this is a question of free software ethics more than laws.

> == What about patents?
> Almost no software with patents: Fedora, Opensuse
>  - Essentially no media codecs except theora/vorbis/ogg/vp8 etc.
>  - Strange exception: libXft, Cairo and Qt4 are shipped with LCD filtering
>    support enabled, even if it is disabled in freetype
> No software with enforced patents: Debian
>  - not included (at least): x264 (encoder), lame mp3 (encoder)
>  - included (at least): MPEG/x decoders, H.264 decoders, MP3 decoders,
>    AAC decoders, AMR decoders, DTS decoders, AC3 decoders,
>    WMV/WMA decoders, realvideo decoders, etc
> Some software covered by patents not included: Mandriva
>  - see below for more information
> All software covered by patents allowed: Arch, Ubuntu
> IMO we should alter our policy to match either Fedora, Debian or Ubuntu.. The 
> Mandriva policy makes no sense (for example, no AAC decoder but yes for H.264 
> decoder and MPEG-4 encoder?).
> I'm really not sure which way we should go, though. WDYT?

I would go the Debian way. 
Ubuntu and Fedora are tied to companies, and Debian is not, so their
policies are likely more adapted to our own model.

Debian way seems to be more pragmatic that Ubuntu/Fedora on that matter.

> == Do we allow P2P file transfer software?
> Yes: Arch, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu
> No, except torrents: Mandriva
> Unknown, at least torrents allowed: Opensuse

I would say "yes". The reason of the rule in Mandriva was unclear and
not justified, IMHO.

Afaik, it was just "there is lots of lawsuits going on this, let's
forbid it". Maybe if someone can get in touch with Lenny, he can explain
us, but I think this was not baked by anything.

> == And gaming emulators?
> Allowed: Arch, Debian, Ubuntu
> Mostly no, but at least fuse-emulator is shipped: Fedora
> Unknown, but lots of them are in OBS 'Emulators' project (unofficial but in 
> official mirrors): Opensuse
> No, but at least zsnes is shipped: Mandriva

Well, why separate gamin emulator from regular emulator ?

The legal risk is near zero in both case, given the few cases since 10
years. Sony lost the lawsuit against Bleem
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleem! ), and again Connectix
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Game_Station ). 

The only recent case I can think of is when Nintendo asked to Youtube
and Apple to remove a application that looked like a DS. Given the speed
of Apple and Youtube to remove contents and software, we cannot consider
this as a legal basis for anything.

>From what I have seen, emulators are much likely to be dropped because
they are unmaintained than others reasons. 

And Fedora rational about this
( https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#Emulators ) is IMHO
weak. I know people who play to the game they bought on their console, I
know people who play to game they developed, and we even have people who
ported linux ( like dslinux, but the site seems down ).

So I would align on Debian policy ( and as the zsnes maintainer, I have
no idea of why it was allowed in contrib while the others one didn't ).

Michael Scherer

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