[Ambassadors] Re: Fedora 11: What do we expect?

Robert Scheck robert at fedoraproject.org
Mon Feb 2 23:16:48 UTC 2009

On Mon, 02 Feb 2009, Md. Sabrul Jamil wrote:
> What do you expect his reply when someone from project says him ?You're not
> the first one to make these suggestions. Parroting them like a broken record
> isn't going to change any of the above. Sorry.?

Did I expect anything else in [1] rather possibly not blaming the Fedora
Project for something which the Fedora Project can't not really take care
of and for just doing "the right thing" when acting as ambassador? I tried
to clarify a wrong situation which should be known to an ambassador. To be
honest, I wasn't expecting any reply at all.

If you don't like my words, simply delete my e-mails silently. Thank you.

> Dont you think, his sentence is also as hard as his?

I didn't get this sentence, but it doesn't solve this problem: I just was
thinking, that he maybe had choosen the wrong or too hard words. And such
things can easily happen. Please do not interpret something else, which I
did not say.

> I am wondering, how Ubuntu make this third-party repo and packages
> installation easier. If they can, why we can?t?

Looks like you are lacking legal information and basics. As now several
times pointed out by e.g. Frank Murphy [2], it's a legal thing.

Tom maybe wants to correct me here, but if I got him right in the legal
discussion last year on FOSDEM, we can't put a red (or a blue) button into
Fedora pointing to e.g. RPM Fusion or another third-party repository which
offers proprietary software. Shipping such a button offering the user maybe
illegal or just legally questionable software is something where Red Hat
can be made legally total responsible for. That's maybe something hard to
understand depending on local and regionals laws and/or licensings, yes.

A real-life example for that are the packages "pgadmin3" and "libdvdcss".
First one, pgadmin3 is licensed under "Artistic 1.0" which is legally
questionable in the US, in Europe there seems to be no problem, in Asia
there seems to be none as well. Fedora doesn't ship pgadmin3 any longer, it
is included in RPM Fusions' non-free repository. When looking to package
"libdvdcss", the second one, it is not allowed in the US and even legally
questionable even in Europe (thus RPM Fusion is not shipping it at all),
but if I'm aware about that correctly, it isn't a problem in Asia.

Fedora has to follow US-laws as Red Hat can be made responsible for every
action. Ubuntu is able to follow European laws, as Canonical [3] is located
in Great Britain (Isle of Man). Unluckily European laws seem to be at that
point more relaxed compared with the US ones, which makes Ubuntu solving
such issues more easily. In times, where SuSE Linux was located in Germany,
they also had no problem to ship proprietary software. Once they have been
bought by Novell, they have been legally relocated to the US and now have
really exactly the same legal problems as Fedora. As far as I can see in
their products, they've removed anything proprietary (depends on the view,
of course).

Thus Ubuntu can, we can't (Tom, please correct me, if I did tell something
wrong - hopefully not).

> Here I have to remind you one thing, did he say to add close source packages
> with Fedora? No he didn?t say it, he just wanted a easier solution of this.
> What Fedora really needs to do is find a legal way to make all of these
> things easier.

Yes, but according the discussion I participated last year during FOSDEM
with Tom, that's a hard thing and Fedora can't ship a direct link to e.g.
RPM Fusion or another repository shipping maybe legally questionable stuff.
And if there would be more easy ways, I'm pretty sure, Fedora would have
taken them already. The issue didn't came up with Fedora 9 or 10, it is an
older thing known inside in Fedora (at least it should be known).

This thread is not to be continued on Fedora Ambassadors or at Fedora
Marketing. If anything else should come up, please discuss this on the
Fedora legal list [4].

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2009-February/msg00019.html
[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-ambassadors-list/2009-February/msg00028.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.
[4] https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-legal-list


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