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Re: Fedora 7 "Moonshine": Freedom vs. Ease-of-Use (Part 1)



Just my two cents' worth ($0.02):

There will always be people who will not like Fedora's position on leaving
the encumbered bits out of the distribution.

To quote from the article:

"Much of this can arguably be laid to rest at the feet of Fedora's
decision to stay
completely within the bounds of open-source, non-patent-encumbered (at least in
their opinion) software. (Keep in mind that Fedora isn't sticking to
this decision for
purely ideological reasons — it has a business to run and doesn't want to get
sued.) It remains to be seen how the struggle between the demand for
ease-of-use/proprietary formats, on the one hand, and a strict
emphasis on free-and-open-source software, on the other, will turn
out."

I find this is be a pretty fair, if somewhat cynical, view expressed
in this article.

Yes, I'm sure Red Hat, as the commercial sponsor of Fedora, doesn't want to get
sued. At the same time, I see a genuine commitment within Red Hat and
Fedora to promote unencumbered codecs and applications.

Purity doesn't guarantee invincibility in regards to lawsuits. It
always possible to
get sued for alleged infringements, also known as "frivolous" lawsuits. Some
individuals and companies sue, hoping to get an out-of-court, off-the-record,
settlement, because it would be cheaper to settle than go to trial.

The best thing is for any American concerned with the abuse of patent law, such
as the whole category of "software patents", to lobby for abolishment
of software
patents altogether.

In parallel, FOSS software and practices should be promoted as an
alternative means
of doing business and improving society in general.

My view is this:

"Better to a pragmatic purist, than a pure pragmatist".

John Babich
Volunteer, Fedora Project


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