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Re: The Multimedia Question

On Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 02:11:08PM -0700, Karsten Wade wrote:
> -1:  Based on Fedora with non-free, patent-encumbered-in-the-US (peitUS)
> software can be called "Fedora"
> 0 :  Based on Fedora with non-free maybe-peitUS but distributable can be
> called "Fedora"
> 1 :  Based on Fedora with free but peitUS can be called "Fedora"
> 2 :  Based on Fedora with free and maybe-peitUS but distributable can be
> called "Fedora"
> 3 :  Based on Fedora with free and not peitUS can be called "Fedora"
> We have 3 currently.  We know that -1 is already disallowed by the
> standing trademark guidelines, right?  Some people argue we have 0 with
> firmware.  What we are discussing here is, what do we want to do with 1
> and 2.

Re 0: binary blogs of firmware falls under non-free distributable; as for
peitUS, honestly, that burden is carried by the firmware authors.  I
expect if those authors were proven in court that the firmware
infringed a third party patent, they'd have to do something to
remove/avoid the infringement, and we'd have to follow suit.

We need to be careful about all three pillars of "IP Law":

* Copyright.  We do a great job here requiring copyright licenses that
  follow the Free Software / OSI guidelines.

* Patents.  Here we have avoided peitUS software unless we also have a
  very clear distributable patent license, or if there are no known /
  claimed infringements.  (yes, we know MP3 and other codecs are
  patented in the USA, and sometimes elsewhere too).  It would be
  fantastic to be able to let people in geographies not bound by USA
  Patent law be able to use components that are legal _for them_ to
  use even though they're not legal for people _in the USA_.  

* Trademarks.  Only a few pieces of software have active trademark
  policies which we need to be careful around; I'd much rather Fedora
  work with those trademark owners rather than spin our own
  derivatives of them and change the names.

So the above 'is this allowed' choice list really is a
multi-dimensional matrix; the trickiest part is geographical based in
part on where Fedora legally resides, and in part where the _user_
legally resides.

Then there's Fedora's own trademark policies, which are even more
strict, and, IMHO, are presently a barrier to derived distributions or
custom use spins (such as the Dell Firmware Updates LiveCD, though
that's just one example).  The fedora-logos package has 112 separate
files, and the list of packages that require system-logos is at least:


meaning, fedora-logos can't just be removed (-fedora-logos in your
%packages list in a kickstart file), but must be *replaced* with
something, if you want your result to run Gnome or boot from a hard
disk (grub).  Maybe we could fix those packages to not rpm
Require: system-logos?  I know the upstream projects don't Require:
system-logos, as they're used on a wide variety of distros (e.g. compiz,
grub, gdm aren't Fedora-unique).


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