[Mageia-dev] About panotools patent problem (and other problematic rpms)

Philippe DIDIER philippedidier at laposte.net
Fri Feb 18 10:13:07 CET 2011

Hi everybody !
Just seen that mikala added panotools in the repository . (some
algorythms library to build panoramic photographs)
Very happy with this ! (thanks a lot...)

That's one of the first patent problems we may encounter :

Long time ago, iPIX, a company from USA muliplied patent lawsuit against
these free algorythms inventor and photographers using them (this
company is now dead because of bankruptcy but the patent problem is
still live... )

This patent problem was revoked in Europe by the European Patent Office
but is still valid in USA and perhaps other countries (Japan...)

There's a limitation to its use if you are in a country where the patent
problem exists !
For this reason : Mandriva proposed a rpm limited to a 160° fov (field
of view) support but we could find in PLF a rpm without limitation (up
to 360°...).
The spec was written to build differently for mandriva repo and plf
repo... and this is the one imported... but it allows to build only a
limited rpm (as it is not used with plf buildsystem)...

We might have two kinds of libpano :
- one without any legal issue in core-release,
- and another without limitation in tainted-release

Same problems will happen for other rpms whose 2 versions coexist (vlc,
mencoder, etc...

How can this be resolved ?
For dev : It was easy to use the same spec for buildind mdv and plf
different rpms
For users : it was easy to choose between .mdv and .plf because when we
are in a patent free country we may easily "upgrade" from mdv to plf :
same version number, but later alphabetical extension.

Is a special extension necessary for tainted rpms ?

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