[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

andre999 andr55 at laposte.net
Mon Dec 13 11:46:11 CET 2010

Daniel Kreuter a écrit :
> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 8:44 AM, Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. <ewilcox at bex.net
> <mailto:ewilcox at bex.net>> wrote:
>     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).
>     --
>     Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.
>     Registered Linux User 247790
>     ICQ 41060744
> Good point. I would suggest that (with permission like you mentioned) we
> include only such patented software in the main repos like drivers. And
> everything else like mp3 in the tainted.
> Especially network-drivers should be included, nothing is worse than
> looking for the drivers if you have no network (as I always have to do
> in Debian).

Generally drivers have permission to distribute, but not to modify or 
reverse engineer, and source code is rarely available.
Mandriva does include network drivers.  But a lot of other commonly used 
drivers aren't on the "free" ISOs.  I think they should be in all the 
ISOs.  Whatever their licence, with the core packages.
So that is one area where Mageia can improve on Mandriva.

> --
> Mit freundlichen Grüßen
> Greetings
> Daniel Kreuter

Please note that both Ubuntu and Debian carry patented-constrained 
software.   (Debian officially in their "non-free" repositories.)
Both have many mirrors in the U.S.

To say that carrying software that may present patent infringement is 
illegal is grossly simplefying the issue.
Only if a court decides that a patent is legitimate, and that a 
particular software really infringes on that patent, without permission 
(direct or indirect or implicitly) of the patent holder, does that 
software contravene the civil rights of the patent holder.  Most 
patents, even if pursued, never reach that stage.

Note that the patent holder is always free to not pursue apparent patent 
violators, thus giving implicit permission.  In case of open source 
projects, they could decide that it is more in their interests to not 
pursue those who would not be in a position to pay royalties, so as to 
not discourage the use of their technology, and thus encourage the 
development of viable alternatives.
Which could lead to those currently (or potentially in the future) 
paying royalties deciding to switch to these patent (and royalty) free 

Copyright infringement is generally much easier to determine, making it 
both easier to avoid, as well as easier to prove.
So a policy of insisting on permission to redistribute for copyrightable 
material seems appropriate.

Such an approach for potentially patent-infringing material is virtually 
(Just think of the bogus Linux kernel case a few years back.)
(Or Microsoft's patent on certain essential elements of a spreadsheet.)

So in my mind we should wait until until approached by the patent holder 
about a particular package before considering designating the package as 

Initially, I don't see us needing a set of repositories for contrained 
(or "tainted") packages.

But I do see PLF as a reasonable place for packages we choose not to carry.
They have a open invitation to host constrained packages for any 
distribution, as long as packagers volonteer.)
Mageia doesn't necessarily have to be (but could be) involved.  I'm sure 
there will be volonteers, whatever we decide.

my 2 cents :)

- André

More information about the Mageia-dev mailing list