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Re: to autodownload or not to autodownload
- From: Hans de Goede <j w r degoede hhs nl>
- To: Development discussions related to Fedora <fedora-devel-list redhat com>
- Subject: Re: to autodownload or not to autodownload
- Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 09:40:53 +0100
Christopher Aillon wrote:
On 02/08/2008 12:54 PM, Hans de Goede wrote:
Starting a new thread for the autodownload discussion which has forked
of the google-earth thread.
First of all let say that I understand that autodownloader is a grey
area, and as such I'm more then willing to discuss its use and maybe
put down some guidelines for its use. For myself I've used as
-autodownloader is only for content, and only for content for Free
I must say however although I understand the greyness and the worries
about autodl, I must say I'm currently not much inclined to spend much
time defending it.
Why? Because we also ship the blacker then black, actually
automatically downloading closed source code, not content but code!
codecbuddy. Not only does it automatically download some gratis closed
source code, it even offers the user to buy closed source code,
effectively free advertising for commercial closed source! I've kept
quiet about this sofar, because I much rather spend time being
productive then having discussions, but IMHO this is _not_ acceptable.
So my stance on autodownloader is simple, next to codecbuddy its
brightly shining white, so white it almost hurts the eyes. So if we're
going to discuss things like this, lets start with the largest
offender and remove codecbuddy!
If, once codecbuddy has been removed, the conclusion of more
discussion will end up that autodownloader is not acceptable too, then
so be it. I will gladly sacrifice autodownloader if thats the price to
pay to get codecbuddy (as is) removed.
I must say that any complaints about autodownloader before codecbuddy
gets removed, to me, are nothing short of hypocritical, and therefor
will not be taken very seriously by me.
I am fine with autodownloader, so long as the game using the data will
work on some level without non-free data.
I understand and I can go along with this reasoning to a certain extent. Notice
that this is a guidelines (as written) change. The rule that we only ship
applications which are not non-functional without any content / include some
freely redistributable data needed to make them functional. Is an unwritten
rule (last time I checked), and was originally not coined in such a broad
manner. The original reason for this rule was to protect Fedora against
contributary copyright infringement claims when shipping emulators, a point
which everyone seems to be forgetting and everyone seems to be stretching this
rule way beyond its original meaning.
Let me try to explain the orignal rule with an example. For example a GPL
licensed emulator for an old acorn computer may not be included despite its GPL
license since it is only usefull using acorn riscos roms which are copyrighted
and may not be freely redistributed. Since its only use is with copyright
protected material, shipping the (non functional) emulator could be seen as
contributary copyright infringement since the emulator clearly does not have a
significant non infringing use.
OTOH, shipping a doom engine variant clearly is fine, even if it is one which
doesn't work with the freedoom datafiles, since the original doom engine was
released under the GPL by the doom copyright holders, so clearly they allow
distribution of the engine without it being accompanied by doom datafiles.
So changing this unwritten rule to mean that any piece of software which is non
functional without any content, and for which no freely redistributable content
is available, may not be included. Would be a very broad stretching of the
original rule (which we really need to write down somewhere).
If we make this guideline change we will need todo a full audit of Fedora, as I
know for sure that there other pieces of software, probably many, which will
fall under the new stretched rule.
I understand that Fedora is about freedom, and I very much support striving for
this freedom, including being willing to drop autodownloader if that is the
consensus, however I don't find it fair that autodownloader always seems to get
targeted as if it were the only offender. Therefor I ask that if this is
discussed the discussion gets caried out much wider then just discussing
autodownloader, and that the discussion will include applications which are
only usefull using non-free web services and codina to name a few.
For an example of a non game application which also needs non free content to
be downloaded to be functional see xtide.
> To that end, I
appreciate the fact that we've gotten many data files licenses changed
such that they are free and hope this continues.
I agree, and getting upstream to change the license is always the prefered
path, but unfortunately not always feasible take bolzplatz2006 for example,
when I contact upstream about changing the license the projectlead said sure we
can do that, but much later he got back to me that some of the contributers
didn't want to drop the NC clause of the CC license they used.
Still by providing bolzplatz we are:
1) showing the best freesoftware can be (the software is free, unfortunately
the content is not)
2) doing a big service to our users as compiling bolzplatz2006 from sources is
a big PITA, oh and we've patched it to also work on 64 bit machines.
3) Providing a unique (no free content alternatives) application
In general the problem is that content creators (artists) are not as much into
freedom thinking (yet?) as the freesoftware movement is, esp they think that no
one should be allowed to make any money of their work in any way. On top of
that they also often think that their creation is perfect as is, and don't want
others to harm their work by modifying it.
Take the largest opencontent movement for example, the creative commons, many
of the licenses they provide are non free by our standards, and unfortunately
the non free ones, esp. the non commercial one, are the most populair ones.
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