[Mageia-dev] 3rd draft of Letter to the Software Freedom Law Center about FAAC

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Thu Nov 8 16:28:45 CET 2012

Here is the third draft - I have integrated Liam's suggestions and gave more
context for our dilemma.


	Shlomi Fish

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing you this letter on behalf of Mageia ( https://www.mageia.org/en/
), which is a community-developed, operating system, based on the
GNU/Linux system and with a free-and-open-source (FOSS) core. We would like to
ask whether (and how) we can distribute pre-built packages of a GPLed program
(in our case, the video editor cinelerra) after it was linked to a library
with some proprietary and non-GPLed code (in our case, faac).

The longer story is that there has been some demand for including faac
( http://sourceforge.net/projects/faac/ - the Freeware Advance Audio Coder),
which is both non-free in part and patent encumbered, in our distribution,
and to prepare versions of the appropriate packages for which it is an
optional dependency. These packages, such as cinelerra (
http://cinelerra.org/ - a video editor), are licenced under
the GPL, which restricts which code its distributed binaries may be legally
linked to.

So our question is: assuming we package faac as a package, can we still
provide pre-made and binary packages of GPLed programs that use it?
Furthermore, would this require receiving an explicit permission from the
copyright owner of the program under the GPL?

We would appreciate any advice that you can give to us on the matter.

Sincerely yours,

— Shlomi Fish, on behalf of the Mageia development team.

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
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Ran Eilam To Shlomi Fish: so what are you working on? Working on a new wiki
about unit testing fortunes in freecell?

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