What do we think of this?

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Tue Mar 27 15:03:34 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-03-27 at 10:53 -0400, Greg Dekoenigsberg wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Mar 2007, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> > Honestly, I think all of these comments come from one pivotal issue:
> >
> > Fedora won't break US law.
> >
> > Debian will. Ubuntu will. SuSE will. Gentoo will.
> >
> > Thus, there is no need for "extra" repositories to arise for these Linux
> > distributions. And the average user wants to have software that breaks
> > the law (mp3, dvd, etc). So they have to go outside the safety zone that
> > is the distribution for Fedora, and here there be dragons.
> >
> > This problem sucks. It has always sucked. We're playing by the rules,
> > where no one else is, and we're getting punished for it, while they
> > prosper.
> >
> > The rules (US law) are broken. I just have no idea how to fix it in my
> > lifetime, much less in the period of relevance for Fedora.
> I think you're right.
> So let me ask this question.
> For other distros, do they mix free/non-free in the same repo?  And for 
> the ones that do not do this -- for the ones who have separate 
> free/non-free repos -- how do they manage to keep content in sync between 
> them?

Debian interprets free/non-free in the FSF sense of the term, not in a
legal sense. Ubuntu does the same. This means that they have mp3 code in
their "free" repo. SuSE doesn't have any distinction that I can say, and
Gentoo's closest repository equivalent is wholly merged.

If you're asking if they have a legal/illegal split, the answer is no
for all.


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