[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

nicolas vigier boklm at mars-attacks.org
Fri Dec 10 19:54:08 CET 2010

On Fri, 10 Dec 2010, Wolfgang Bornath wrote:

> 2010/12/10 Romain d'Alverny <rdalverny at gmail.com>:
> >
> > Ok, but you still take into account SP in your answer. :-p (we would
> > have come to that, but the idea was to think about it from a naïve,
> > software-patent-free perspective).
> If there were no software patents anywhere what would be the issue of
> this discussion?
> IMHO it makes no sense to discuss something which does not exist
> If Mageia were a project fro French users only we would no have this
> discussion. But as it is a worldwide project the probelm exists and
> pretending it does not makes no sense, not even from a theoretical
> POV. because the theoretical POV is "No SP, no discussion".
> Ok, anyway.
> I see the strategy in your proposition but:
> 1. We know from the start that there ARE packages with software which
> is patented in some countries. So, the "let's start empty and see what
> comes up" is already done with.

Being patented does not mean that patent is valid and enforceable.

> 2. In some countries mirror maintainers can not wait until somebody
> raises his hand, there are lawyers who write nice "cease and desist"
> letters, attached is a bill you have to pay. In Germany this is called
> "Kostenpflichtige Abmahnung"  and has grown to a habit of some
> lawyers.
> Meaning: you can't wait and see what happens, you have to make sure
> that it does not happen from the start.
> I mean, opinions about software patents set aside for a minute,
> software patents are protected by official law in those countries. You
> can not break the law on the basis of "let's see what happens".

The problem is that we don't know for sure if we violate the law. We
should not be too paranoid about this. Microsoft claims that the Linux
kernel violates 235 of their patents :
Should we trust them and remove the kernel from the core repository ?

I'm wondering how much mirror admins are concerned about patent issues.
If we split the packages between core and "tainted" repositories, how
many will filter it ? If only a few will do it, maybe it's not really
worth it and we can still have enough mirrors. It seems that Debian has
mirrors in many countries, while hosting patented software in its main

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