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Re: Fedora Core 3 Wishlist



Paul Duffy wrote:

On Sunday 06 Jun 2004 17:00, Sean Estabrooks wrote:


Because you insist on using proprietary, encumbered technologies that
would make RedHat vulnerable to legal action if they distributed them.



As they do in the kernel source they provide.


Now, if you can adopt a less patronising attitude (as some of us don't really have an option when it comes to not installing Windows and it doesn't always let you format for FAT32 on install) and tell me how including it in the kernel source but not the kernel makes a legal difference that would be much appreciated.

regards, Paul




NTFS belongs to Microsoft

Any operating system that includes NTFS options must pay Microsoft Licensing fees.

If Fedora C3 includes NTFS then it will no longer be free because you will have to pay Redhat to cover the cost of all the licensed software that they include.

The point of Fedora is that everything included in the distro is under some kind of opensource license, GNU, Apache, Xorg, BSD, etc...

NTFS is not under an open source license, it is 100% a proprietary file format of Microsoft. Microsoft is even considering charging people for the use of FAT16 and FAT32 options too.

MP3 is a licensed file format, Real Player, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, are all proprietary video formats that require that any operating system that natively includes them must pay a license fee to the corresponding company.

Yes there are projects on the internet to allow these formats to run under Linux, and you can choose to install them yourself, but as long as Red Hat does not directly include them, they do not have to pay license fees and they are not subject to a lawsuit. Its highly doubtful that Microsoft will choose to pursue you directly for installing and compiling NTFS support into your Linux kernel, as long as you are not caught distributing that option. However, if Red Hat included it, I guarentee that MS would sue them for every single download of the distribution on the internet.

If you are willing to give Red Hat the money to cover the lawsuit, I am quite sure that they will consider including the proprietary options you want.

It all comes down to money, Fedora is a 100% freely distributable version of Linux, there are no legal ramifications if you choose to give others a CD copy of it, because everything included is covered under an established open source license. The reason that proprietary software is left out is so that Fedora remains free, and free of lawsuits.

I use Windows XP also, but I accept the fact that if I want the two OS's to work together I have to make a few sacrifices, if I want NTFS support in FC2, I have to add it myself, if I want to run proprietary music and video formats, I have to install them myself. I am not angry at Red Hat about this, they are just making sure that the OS they distribute to me will never result in liability if I keep it in the form they provided. It is my choice to make the legal risk of using proprietary software in my Linux.

Gerald Thompson



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