My 2 cents on the whole Fedora to succeed as global wide deployed desktop are...

Martin Sourada martin.sourada at
Mon Sep 3 15:02:08 UTC 2007

On Mon, 2007-09-03 at 16:31 +0200, Jeroen van Meeuwen wrote:
> If a legally bought DVD doesn't play on Fedora, that doesn't mean the 
> real problem lies within Fedora. If you disagree; how does that make it 
> a Fedora problem exactly?
No, but the crowd of people he is talking about will think it is a
Fedora problem. In this case it's problem of libdvdcss legality. Yes it
is open source software, freely redistributable, but its usage is
questionable. As far as I understand wiki page about this [1], it is
legal to use it, even in the U.S.

> > If we do not support this we loose.
> We are strong fighters in the army of the Free (as in Freedom, not 
> Gratis). We lose some, but we win an awful lot.
Yes, and software patents, as they are, are hindering our efforts. We
cannot ship mp3 support. And why? Free (as in freedom) software for
playing and encoding it is available. But software patents take the
choice away from us. 

>   And remember, all the things I am
> > talking about are licenced under licences that are acceptable into
> > Fedora, only the damn U.S. wrongly implemented patents for software
> > (where they actually rather hinder progress than encourage it) prohibits
> > us from shipping them with Fedora. Proprietary drivers are there as
> > well, but that's not why we should make these repos easy accessible. 
> > 
> > We should encourage usage of FOSS software, but how can we do that when
> > we are prohibited by U.S. laws to ship FOSS software that implements
> > patented things? And no, I cannot play DVDs using vanilla Fedora and no,
> > theora isn't better than H.264 (implemented in FOSS x264 codec) and yes,
> > I can use ogg vorbis instead of mp3, but then my HW player will not play
> > them.
> > 
> Restrictively patented software may, in your and many others' opinion, 
> still be Free; I my opinion, it's not. It may be FOSS, but it isn't Free 
> in the most pure sense of the word; If I can't share what I use, freely, 
> with someone else just because there so happens to be an ocean in 
> between and my buddy is living in the states; that to me isn't free.
The mp3 software (for example) itself isn't patented, but as far as I
understand the patent thing, it violates the patents. Software patents
are just defective by design, but it is not a problem of the idea, it's
a problem of the implementation, IMHO.

> No matter how we may differ in opinion though, freedom is essential; I 
> think we all agree on that. Fedora however seems to consider freedom to 
> be /freedom for everyone/, so independent from where you live or what 
> the local law says you can or cannot do. That is what I encourage.
Agreed, but it's not our fault, that in some countries people have less
freedom from the start (i.e. are not able to use free, as in freedom,
software because of some, not very sane, banns). I think we should
promote freedom not only by supplying only applications guaranteeing
such freedom, but also help to fight for their rights to those, who have
them lessened (e.g. in the case of software patents).



PS: the software patents could be a good thing, but if they could apply
only to harder things to think out and only to the person who come with
the idea. Also patent fees should be paid only in cases where the one
who uses the patented thing gain money from it, which FOSS software
certainly don't. The current state of things is similar like if you were
forced to pay patent fees to wheel-patent-holder (which could be some
really big company) if you make your own wheel and give it to your kid
for playing.
> -- 
> Kind regards,
> Jeroen van Meeuwen
> -kanarip
> --
> C6B0 7FB4 43E6 CDDA D258  F70B 28DE 9FDA 9342 BF08
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