Fedora - time to blink

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at gmail.com
Sat Nov 26 06:02:21 UTC 2011


On Friday 25 November 2011 20:03:58 Antonio Olivares wrote:
> --- On Fri, 11/25/11, Craig White <craigwhite at azapple.com> wrote:
> > ah but it was exactly licensing issues that caused the fork
> > of cdrtools into wodim...
> > 
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdrkit
> 
> http://cdrecord.berlios.de/private/linux-dist.html
> 
> Counters those claims as well.

>From what I gathered after reading some of the discussions between Jorg 
Schilling and everyone else, the legal status of cdrtools is interpretation-
dependent. Specifically, CDDL and GPL may be considered to be or to not be 
compatible, based on one's point of view, interpretation of the wording of GPL 
in English versus German language, validity of German laws outside Germany 
etc.

It is not important who's right and who's wrong. The only important thing is 
that there is no consensus between all parties about the status of cdrtools. 
And that is what makes cdrtools a no-go package for Fedora, IMHO.

The thing is, the status of cdrtools would be completely clear if Schilling 
had agreed to dual-licence the offending part of the source code. Of course, as 
an author of that code, he exercised his right not to do it and to keep the 
CDDL instead. But that gave the impression to everyone else that he is not a 
good "team player" (so to speak), so many people/devs/distros essentially 
decided to boycott him and go down the cdrkit route, since cdrkit does not 
have the licencing issues that cdrtools does.

That's how I understand the whole affair.

In addition, when the author of cdrtools insists that there are no licence 
issues, while Red Hat Legal, Debian devs, and basically everyone else insists 
that there indeed are licence issues, who are you going to believe?

> There are several distributions that did keep original cdrtools and have not
> incorporated the new wodim.
> 
> Fedora's packagers response here:
> https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legal-list/2009-July/msg00000.html

And a great response it is --- clear, to the point, and decisive. :-) Btw, I 
didn't know Spot was a member of the Legal team. Great work! ;-)

Each distro can choose to do whatever they feel is right. As for Fedora, I 
understand that it strongly upholds the principles of not bundling any code 
that might have controversial licencing, which is the case for cdrtools. I 
support this policy, and that's one of the reasons I use Fedora.

> I do believe that users have a choice, and if one program does not do the
> job, it is our right to install what works for us.

Sure, noone disputes that. However, one should never mix one's own freedoms 
and choices with the freedoms and choices of Fedora. So I don't think it is 
fair that people bitch about Fedora not including cdrtools.

All that said, I actually wonder why cdrkit apparently doesn't work for so 
many people? It has been several years since it was forked, so I would expect 
that by now it is pretty much equivalent in functionality to cdrtools. [N.B. I 
rarely use either myself so I didn't actually compare them...]

Best, :-)
Marko




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