Codeina and how to proceed

Max Spevack mspevack at
Wed Mar 19 19:33:08 UTC 2008

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008, Luis Villa wrote:

> For what it is worth, I agree with Greg[3]. We know that the mp3 
> patents are problematic in both the US[1] and Europe[2] and create 
> restrictions that make mp3s non-free. Either say the mp3 stuff is 
> non-free and drop it as well as the others, or allow them all. The 
> middle way is a poor compromise and I'm surprised the board went that 
> direction.

This is neither here nor there, but some level of responsibility needs 
to fall on me.

Back in January 2007 when we first made the "let's do Codeina" decision, 
I remember that the Board's feeling was not unanimous, but that the 
majority liked the idea of trying it as an experiment, seeing what 
happened, and being transparent about positives and negatives.

My personal feeling at the time was very mixed, and regardless, the 
majority of the Fedora Board is supposed to rule.  The Fedora Project 
Leader's veto, which I *could* have used, was not something that I 
wanted to ever do, and certianly not on a decision in which I wasn't 
100% convinced that the majority of the Board was wrong.

Put it this way: In the general case (not talking about Codenia here) if 
I couldn't argue persuasively enough to make the majority of the Board 
agree with me, then it would be quite autocratic to pull out the veto 

In short, I consider the Codeina experiment a victory for the *process* 
and *democracy* that the Board was put in place to ensure, but a failed 
experiment in general.

I'd like to personally apologize to Bastien and Thomas for Codeina -- I 
think I handled it very poorly over a year ago and it caused them both 
aggravation and trouble that is ultimately my fault.


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