On 01/10/12 21:00, Matthew Miller wrote:
On Mon, Oct 01, 2012 at 08:52:41PM +0100, Tristan Santore wrote:
>> I'm just looking for a quick clarification on whether it's our position
>> mp3 falls under patented code we should avoid packaging even as source.
> A little research shows that there are a variety of patents involved
> with this issue.
Yes, I'm aware. :)
There's a theory that at least some software patents are not violated by
distribution of source code, because only binary code actually implements
the invention. I don't know the legal validity of that theory, just that it
exists, and I would like Fedora legal to be more specific.
I believe this falls under contributory infringement, in the US. So, if
you as an entity distribute the source code, then you are still liable.
Of course, I am not in the US, and as such care little for such
non-sense. But sadly, Red Hat is a US based company, which makes it
liable, as Fedora is a Red Hat entity. Which is why we have had all this
annoying non-sense to deal with. Ubuntu is based in London, legally,
which is why they do not care too much. Software patents do not apply in
the EU, unless they form part of a hardware device, as far as I understand.
Also, I don't see the practicality of us packaging something only as
source. Koji takes the source RPM and builds it, so that would then mean
we need another way to do this, or modifications to Koji to exclude
builds. Bodhi then would also need modifications.
Also, that is why us European fedora lovers have created RPM fusion,
which has nothing to do with Fedora or Red Hat, so we can use whatever
is encumbered in the US, of course, legally, if you are based in the US,
you could be liable for usage of patent encumbered technologies, which
is why I generally inform people of potential problems, if you live in a
region in the world, where software patents are legal.
I am making sure this goes to the legal list. So people can follow this.
Again, Tom and Richard should clarify.
Tristan Santore BSc MBCS
Network and Infrastructure Operations
Former Thawte Notary
(Please note: Thawte has closed its WoT programme down,
and I am therefore no longer able to accredit trust)
For Fedora related issues, please email me at: