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Re: New candidates for inclusion in Extras : udftools and starfighter-music

On Thu, 2005-02-10 at 19:09 +0100, Michael Schwendt wrote:

> We can argue endlessly. I don't care where the music files were downloaded
> from. I don't care whether "Public Domain" BBSs or download servers also
> carry freeware, shareware and other forms of software and misguide their
> users with that mixture.
> The important bit is how this music was released originally. Amiga demo
> software, music demos, individual pieces of mod music usually were either
> released into the public domain implicitly or explicitly marked as
> something else.

"Usually" and "implicitly" aren't good words when talking about legal
implications. An author needs to waive his rights to certain piece of
work explicitly, it just doesn't matter what was usual in certain time
or in certain circles.

>  In the public domain, to be used by other people however
> they like (even commercially, BBS download fees as the least form). Many
> musicians did do music, which was never used inside a program. Programmed
> in assembler languages, you could reuse published software not as
> trivially as music and graphics files. Hence [good] music was reused much
> more often and spread much more, too. MOD files are source files. 
> High-profile musicians with special interests usually did not publish
> their music before a corresponding program (e.g. a music demo disk) was
> released and used the music exclusively for some time. Those musicians who
> wanted their music not being spread freely, usually made it clear inside
> the files and asked programmers to protect the music data at least a bit.
> The only uncertainty with the Starfighter musics is their origin.

This is not true. If you are uncertain about the origins of something,
how can you be sure about its licensing?

>  Maybe
> they were taken from a freeware demo program and were not considered
> public domain work originally. I don't want to decide whether
> approximately 10 years ago a musician did not care what other people might
> do with his music. Unless it's explicitly written anywhere that a MOD
> music file from the home computer area shall not be seen as public domain
> work, I treat such files as PD.

I'm not a lawyer, but this stance just doesn't cut it:

- it bolsters the FUD certain groups spread about the free software and
open source community, namely that we don't respect copyright and grab
anything we can lay our hands on
- with what we currently have with Fedora Extras, it puts Red Hat as the
distributor of these files at risk of being legally challenged, of
getting some really bad PR, ... and with Red Hatters participating in
this thread Red Hat can't even claim not having known about the issue

You are free to do whatever you please as long as it only affects
yourself. Unfortunately this isn't the case here: we all know that we
aren't sure about the origins of the music and the terms under which it
was released and if worse came to worst, we might get slapped down for

Therefore, unless the ownership w.r.t. copyright has been cleared and we
know that we may distribute the music, I veto its inclusion into Fedora

     Nils Philippsen    /    Red Hat    /    nphilipp redhat com
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
 safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."     -- B. Franklin, 1759
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