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Re: fmf-frequently missed features and some general thoughts...

On 02 Aug 2003 03:46:37 +0200, you wrote:

>> Keep in mind that Mandrake is a French company and patent software don't
>> apply in France.
>so patent violations can't get inforced in france, am i getting you
>right? i would be surprised if it's the same in germany, nevertheless

Patent laws vary from country to country,  and the tolerance for risk
can also vary from company to company.

However, as has been discussed previously on various Red Hat lists the
problem with the mp3 decoders is that they are incorrectly licensed.

Basically what it comes down to is that while the mp3 decoders for
Linux have been released under the GPL, the restrictions the patent
holder has placed on mp3 violate the GPL, hence the mp3 decoders are
in a legally questionable position.  The patent holder has stated that
they are not interested in collecting royalties from software decoders
distributed with an OS like Linux or Windows (so in theory a legal
open source mp3 decoder could be created).  However, if that software
decoder is then used within a hardware product royalties would be
payable, and it is this further restriction that violates the GPL.

>suse sontains at least an mp3-decoder by default (but they might have
>payed for it-if suse can do it, why not red hat?!).

I doubt Suse has payed for it, but instead they have chosen to ignore
the fact that the software licence is a problem.

>despite all this, my question was if it would be legally feasable to
>enable xmms (or whatever program) to get the plug automatically from the
>net after rhl is installed on the users pc.

Perhaps if there was a decoder under a valid licence Red Hat could
look at it again, but until then it won't happen.

Suse and Mandrake may be willing to look the other way, but Red Hat
has (rightfully) chosen to take the high road and not include software
that does not have a valid licence.

>> > 4. rh9.x should ship with flash-, java- and whatever plug-in already
>> > installed in browsers
>> Check the license of RHL :
>> http://ftp.rhnet.is/pub/redhat/linux/9/en/os/i386/EULA
>> It's free OS. With java and/or flash we loose this GREAT benefit.
>> To gain this benefit we (and you) need to make some efforts (download
>> java, flash...). 
>so red hat would have to pay money for distributing java-, flash-plugin?
>because i as an enduser get those for free (because those companies are
>interested in establishing their standards), i thought that it would be
>the same for vendors.

It can vary.  The big problem from Red Hat's perspective though is
that they are not open source and Red Hat's postition is that anything
included in Red Hat Linux must be open source (which is good both from
a purity point of view as well as the fact that Red Hat can then if
necessary fix any bugs themselves).  Java, Flash, NVIDIA drivers, etc
are binary only and so cannot be included with Red Hat Linux.

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