[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

Luca Berra bluca at vodka.it
Mon Dec 13 21:23:55 CET 2010

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 02:44:21AM -0500, Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. wrote:
>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.
I don't agree on most of the above, and i believe the last sentence to be
offensive, but i will not retaliate lest it becomes a flame war.

>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.
The biggest problem is the variety of patent laws existing in the world,
besides the fact that patents are not granted worldwide, thus forcing
mageia to taint software that should not be under different
legislations. See the difference between fair-use clauses in laws about
circumvention devices.

>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).
I don't believe a separate repository would give any benefit, in any
case it would be software provided by mageia, and built on mageia

>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 
Software with non-free license but permission to distribute should end
in non-free, software with a non-free license and no permission to
distribute should not be distributed. But this is a very different issue
from free-software possibly breaking some patent. Please do not mix the
two issues.


Luca Berra -- bluca at vodka.it

More information about the Mageia-dev mailing list