Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Thomas Cameron thomas.cameron at camerontech.com
Sun Jul 20 04:21:33 UTC 2008

On Sat, 2008-07-19 at 20:56 -0700, Antonio Olivares wrote:
> > > > That makes no difference to US patent law.
> > > 
> > > # fsck US Patent law
> > > fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
> > 
> > That's got to be the dumbest thing I've heard you
> > say yet.  It is the
> > height of "head in the sand" syndrome.

> It is because of patents that many users out there do not have things
> easier :)  
> The big guys get lots of break, while many little guys get sued.
> If many patents died soon the world would be a better place for all of
> us.  

No argument at all.  I hate software patents.  But to claim that you're
just going to ignore them and plow ahead, that's ridiculous.

> > 
> > To just blithely say "screw the law of the land where
> > the company which
> > arguably does more for Free/Open Source Software is
> > based" is just,
> > well, childish.

> I wish I had more faith in the US court system, but it sells itself to
> the people with money and if you are poor, you end up paying for it. 
> I have not had good experiences with the Courts system :(
> The lies are the ones that are accepted as facts and they say that you
> are innocent till proven guilty, but it is the other way around
> you are guilty, till proven innocent.  

The US court system is horribly broken, no doubt about it.  But when a
government system gets broken like that, it is up to the people to apply
pressure to the government.  It does not work quickly, but it does work.
The pendulum swings back and forth.  Right now, it is way over in the
region where the patent system is totally screwed up, but there are
people and businesses like Red Hat who are lobbying to fix it.  And that
movement is getting traction.  Not as quickly as I'd like, but there is
steady progress.

> The company you refer to, is Red Hat Inc correct?


> If it were based outside the US, it could do much more and not have to
> worry about patents(if the country they were based in was more
> cooperative), but there again other places like Europe also have
> patents and are trying to enforce them

The reality is that it is based in the US.  So to say "fsck patents"
when the company would be at high risk of being sued out of existence is
just silly.

> http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/intro/index.html
> > 
> > I, too, hate the patent system here.  I agree that the it
> > needs to be
> > torn down.  But to spit in the eye of the government of
> > *any* company is
> > just stupid.

> The government, take a look at the stuff they are doing, they are
> restricting your freedom and mine, at any time they want they can
> arrest you, they can search your property without a search warrant,
> they can do whatever they want to you and not have to answer to
> anyone.  

And we're probably going to see a regime change for the better here
soon.  As I said, the pendulum swings back and forth.  Right now it is
in a bad place.  I have high hopes that we'll swing the other way soon.

> Do you believe a governement that standed for freedom is doing this?

I believe that what the US is about is not what the current government
of the US is about.  I think that this situation is going to be
rectified through the legal channels in place - voting and legislation.

> What do you think of the Patriot Act?
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act

So completely off topic I'm not going to pursue that here.

> There are many other things that have done away with the freedoms that
> made this country great. 

No argument there, but I have high hopes that the pendulum will swing
back the other way soon.

> It is also sad that because the Company's base is here in the U.S,
> that other countries have to put up with laws that are not of their
> own.  Of course they have repositories and work on things that Fedora
> cannot distribute, but that is not the point.  These are workarounds
> that exist.  

I bug the crap out of my representatives in the government.  I know many
others who do the same.  That's how we get things changed.

> I also believe that the "BORDER WALL" is stupid, but I cannot do
> anything about it?  Can you do something about it?  

Again, so off topic that I won't go down this rat hole.

> > > Sun Microsystems encouraged the ZFS port to FreeBSD,
> > and yes they
> > > placed the patents in place, now if they encouraged
> > the port to
> > > FreeBSD(since BSDs* are more relaxed than GPL), they
> > should protect
> > > FreeBSD.  If not, like you say (FreeBSD should get rid
> > of it and
> > > protect themselves much like Fedora protects itself
> > from these cr*ppy
> > > patents and lawuits :)
> > 
> > It's easy for you to say that sun *should* do this or
> > that.  You gonna
> > pony up the bucks if someone like the FreeBSD group gets
> > sued, though?
> > Cause nothing says that Sun *has* to.  Your wishes and
> > suppositions !=
> > fact.
> > 
> Why should I ponny up the bucks? 
> Sun should do this, it is their product, if they want people to use
> it, then they should protect its customers or people that freely
> download it.  

Key word - "should."  The problem is that there is not really anything
that forces them to do so.  Sweet wishes and loving talk are not the
same as really stepping up when the crap hits the fan.

Also, if Sun did do something wrong with ZFS, just because they did it
first does not protect others from getting sued just because Sun told
them to.  


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