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Re: fedora official ntfs support

On Thu, 2004-01-15 at 08:38, William Hooper wrote:
> Szakacsits Szabolcs said:
> >> Then you are looking for the Objectives page:
> >>
> >> "Build the operating system exclusively from open source software."
> >
> > The NTFS driver is GPL'd.
> Who's talking about the NTFS driver?  Please read the whole message
> (especially the part where I'm answering the nVidia question and state
> that I don't know the reasons for not including NTFS).

My perspective on this is that Red Hat, and by association Fedora,
represents a potential target for litigation regarding the inclusion of
non-FOSS components (ie. NTFS, MP3, etc). That litigation could be based
upon patent/intellectual property issues and/or data loss/integrity
issues, since the NTFS drivers are considered "experimental".

Red Hat is a publicly held, for-profit entity, with corporate assets
that would be vulnerable to litigation in the U.S. IANAL, however Red
Hat is providing substantial financial and developer support to Fedora
and thus would be vulnerable by association to any litigation against

Debian and other "community based" distros have no such assets that
would be vulnerable to litigation.

The other commercial distros that include or have included NTFS and/or
MP3 support either don't care or their lawyers have indicated a low
probability of litigation over the inclusion of such components perhaps
based upon non-U.S. law.

Then again, Mandrake has had its own financial challenges and of course
others (ie. SUSE) are in the process of being acquired or may be in the
near future.

The bottom line in my mind, is that Red Hat and therefore Fedora, are
taking an appropriate and cautious approach to the inclusion of such
components in the interest of reducing to zero, the probability of
getting sued over such issues. Even if such a lawsuit was unsuccessful
in the end, the cost of defending oneself in that scenario is not

As has been mentioned here ad nauseum, you can either download these
components from other sites or use a different distro if you feel
slighted by these decisions. These are entirely reasonable business
decisions that have been made. Get over it and move on.


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