Policy on BUILD_PATENTED
rosenp at gmail.com
Sun Aug 9 16:21:26 EDT 2020
On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 6:09 AM Sam Kuper <sampablokuper at posteo.net> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 09, 2020 at 10:55:37AM +0100, Sam Kuper wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 03, 2020 at 07:11:13PM +0300, Etienne Champetier wrote:
> >> Le lun. 3 août 2020 à 00:04, Rosen Penev a écrit :
> >>> Whenever discussion about patents arise, I usually point to Fedora
> >>> whose parent company is Red Hat, which is based in the US. There are
> >>> many things that they do not distribute that OpenWrt does for legal
> >>> reasons. Should Fedora's practices be mirrored or should a more
> >>> liberal policy regarding patented functionality be taken?
> > For OpenWRT at least, might Debian be a more appropriate exemplar than
> > Fedora? Unlike Fedora AFAIK, but like OpenWRT, Debian is represented
> > in some sense by SPI: https://www.spi-inc.org/projects/debian/ .
> > The debian-legal mailing list archives can be searched for the
> > decisions taken by the debian-legal team, and the reasoning behind
> > those decisions: https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/ .
> Here is an example of discussion on that list, that is on a similar
> topic to the original question in this thread: patent-encumbered
> software. It also speaks to differences between the Debian and Red Hat
> (The example is 15 years old, so perhaps not representative of current
> policy. I'm just giving it as an example.)
> [The] reason Debian continues to include the mp3 decoder library is
> that this patent, like so many other software patents, does not
> appear to be actively enforced. This is the standard Debian uses in
> deciding whether to distribute the software; Red Hat evidently uses
> a different standard.
Yep. And this is the issue. Which standard is to be followed, Red
Hat's or Debian?
In the packages feed, I've already pushed several changes that
irritate people. Stuff like crippling libfaad2 and fdk-aac to strip
out patented stuff, removing ffmpeg support from several packages (or
making them dependent on BUILD_PATENTED), etc... I've had to tell an
mpd user that I will not be fixing MPD to support HE-AAC (which some
radio stations use for some bizarre reason).
I'd like a decision on this issue. Debian to my knowledge does not
sell anything whereas Red Hat is the most profitable Linux company out
there, which makes sense as to why they would want to shield
themselves from litigation.
One problem with Red Hat's approach is that it would get rid of
minidlna by default, which many people seem to use. Red Hat and Fedora
do not distribute minidlna.
I added a replacement for minidlna that does not rely on ffmpeg and
overall works better but there's a massive size increase with it (it
uses C++17 with several C++ libraries). I've tried to use static
linking to keep the size down but it can only be slimmed so much.
> Source: https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/07/msg00082.html
As a sidenote, Fedora now includes mp3 support as all the patents have
expired. Same with mpeg2 support.
> A: When it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
> Q: When is top-posting a bad thing?
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