[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. ewilcox at bex.net
Mon Dec 13 08:44:21 CET 2010

Consideration of software patents and copyrights does not constitute implicit 
support for them. It does however constitute explicit support for obediance of 
the law. Like it or not, patent and copyright laws do exist in some countries 
(especially the U.S.A. - my home), and it is our responsibility to take those 
laws into considertion (whether we want to or not). Laws can not be changed by 
ignoring them, only broken. People who break laws are criminals - no ifs, 
ands, or buts, about it. If the Mageia community chooses to opeate as a 
criminal organization, I will have nothing to do with it.

We are discussing whether to accomodate software patent and copyright law in 
countries where it exists. I can see no way to avoud doing so. We can include 
patented software in our distribution if we choose to do so (and I think we 
should), but we must provide both mirror hosts and end users (including me) a 
method of easily excluding such software. By doing so, we give our users and 
supporters the freedom to choose to obey the law where they live and still use 
or support our distribution.

As I see it, we already have a usable mirror lay-out (posted earlier in this 
thread). The only real discussion that should remain is whether to include the 
"tainted" branch in the official Mageia tree, or to offer it in an alternate 
repository such as PLF (my earlier suggestion).

In either case, I do not believe that ALL patented (or Copyrighted) software 
should be placed there (in the "tainted" branch). Some such software comes 
with explicit permission to use (perhaps nVidia and/or ATI drivers?). In other 
cases, we may be able to contact the patent or copyright holder and get 
explicit permission to include their software in our distribution. In such 
cases, we should be able to safely (for both our users and supporters) include 
the patented / copyrighted software with the official branch of our 


Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.
Registered Linux User 247790
ICQ 41060744

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