[Dev] [RFC] Package freedom requirements clarification

Michał Masłowski mtjm at mtjm.eu
Sun Nov 25 21:00:25 GMT 2012

> I didn't think about that.  Our source mirrors would mirror the
> nonfree files.  (But do we even do source mirrors in most cases?)

We have to distribute the source of GPL-licensed software, it would be
useful (and simpler) to distribute source of all our packages.

> I guess the question is:
>   Can we download and distribute non-free code, if it is immediately
>   deleted at the beginning of the build process?

I don't want to assume that all this nonfree code has licenses allowing
us to distribute it (e.g. some has no license or invalid ones like
mixing GPL with incompatible licenses).  It would also prevent users
From legally selling CDs with our binary and source packages (since some
of this nonfree code disallows selling), while we want to support this

> The only relevent part of FSDG that I could find is:
>   A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining
>   any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do
>   so.
> So, I think that it is at least ok by FSDG, as the non-free code isn't
> being obtained for "practical use".

There is also this definition:

  “Information for practical use” includes software, documentation,
  fonts, and other data that has direct functional applications. It does
  not include artistic works that have an aesthetic (rather than
  functional) purpose, or statements of opinion or judgment.

At least some of this nonfree code certainly have "direct functional
applications" despite not being used for them in free systems.

> If we decide that we can't, I will contact the pacman devs and discuss
> getting `makepkg --allsource` run `prepare()`.

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