[Mageia-dev] [RFC] Moving various packages/codecs to tainted

andre999 andre999mga at laposte.net
Wed Jan 11 12:29:32 CET 2012

Colin Guthrie a écrit :
> 'Twas brillig, and andre999 at 10/01/12 03:12 did gyre and gimble:
>> Juan Luis Baptiste a écrit :
>>> On Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Anssi Hannula<anssi at mageia.org>   wrote:
>>>> I'm absolutely fine with either moving codecs to core or tainted, as
>>>> long as we are at least somewhat consistent in what is in core and what
>>>> is in tainted. However, I do not really like the reasoning "we do it
>>>> like mandriva did no matter if it is sensible or not".
>>>> I'd possibly understand "we do it like mandriva did because they didn't
>>>> apparently have problems with these pkgs", but it IMHO wouldn't really
>>>> fly as we could just s/mandriva/ubuntu/ in that statement (and Ubuntu is
>>>> much more prominent than mdv IMO) and then everything would be in
>>>> core...
>>> IMHO, for sake's of simplicity and user friendliness, we should leave
>>> everything in core until there's a real threat from someone about
>>> patents. Surely if it appears some day,  we wouldn't be the first ones
>>> to be approached which would leave us plenty of time to correct this
>>> issue and move affected packages to tainted.
>> I strongly agree with this approach.
> I don't. Especially not with this message now in a public forum
> admitting that we'd just be sticking our heads in the sand with regards
> to this issue.
> If any legal action was taken, any efforts to plan for and deal with the
> issues involved will be seen as a sign of good faith. This is very much
> the opposite and thus would lead to stronger legal action should it ever
> come to that.
> I really do not get the problem with splitting things out into the
> appropriate repos.
> The only real question is about whether to enable those repos by default
> and include the RPMs.

We're talking about codecs, essentially the decoders which are used to 
read encoded files.
If the patent claims are valid/enforceable (and most aren't), it is up 
to the patent holder to decide if it is in their interest to enforce the 
patent claims.
Since they will normally attempt to collect royalties from those using 
the encoders to generate encoded content, it is in their interest avoid 
enforcing claims against users of decoders, as the more such decoders 
are used, the more the demand for the corresponding encoders, and thus 
the more royalties they will collect.  So it seems to me entirely 
logical to await notification that they indeed intend to collect 
royalties for these codec decoders.
However I do agree that we should put encoders that seem to be covered 
by valid patents in some countries in "tainted".

This might seem to be not worth the effort, particularly since, to the 
best of my knowledge, even in software patent impacted countries such as 
the U.S., no Linux mirror has chosen to not carry all the supposedly 
patent-affected packages produced by the distro.
However by including codec decoders on our isos, we will give users a 
much more friendly experience, particularly those that can not use 
online repos during installation.
We have to decide whether we would consider a package affected by patents.
I'm just trying to suggest that we hold off putting codec decoders in 
"tainted" until we know that the patent holder intends to enforce the 
patent (against us or other similar users).

Of course we could always be dogmatic about it.  It would be interesting 
producing a release the next time there is a claim against the Linux kernel.

> The split is a purely technical decision that should (in theory at
> least) have zero impact on a default install unless we specifically
> decide to allow it to.

One could say that there is a considerable political side of the issue.
Is the claim potentially valid ? (We probably already consider that, to 
some degree.)
Does the patent holder intend to enforce it, in our context.  (We should 
consider that.)

As far as the impact goes, if we don't separate likely enforced from 
other patent claims, we won't be able to provide codecs on our DVD's, 
which will impact those who can not reliably do a network install.
I'd rather that Mageia be known as a user-friendly distro.

> Col

My 2 cents :)


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