RFC: On-demand package installation API in kdelibs

Martin Sandsmark sandsmark at samfundet.no
Wed Jul 28 22:28:01 BST 2010

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:13:39PM +0100, John Layt wrote:
> Doesn't Ubuntu / Kubuntu have a script that goes and gets codecs and
> libdvdcss when you first need them?  If Canonical is distributing such
> software then they must have legal advice that it is OK.  I think they
> pop-up a dialog to say you must confirm your jurisdiction allows you to
> install the software, which moves liability onto the user?

I haven't used Ubuntu/Kubuntu in a long time, so I don't know. But AFAIK,
Ubuntu also doesn't have any mirrors actually hosted in the U. S. (or at
least that's why my ubuntu-mirror hosting friend told me some months ago),
for whatever reasons.

> Besides, it would be up to each distro to implement the
> installation mechanism which fetches and installs the software, therefore it
> would surely be up to each distro to check the legality of how they choose
> to do so?

Well, it is we who are recommending/telling the user to install the software,
the "how" is just a technicality.

> I think we can rely on the Betamax ruling here, same as the
> bittorrent developers do.  If there is even a single legal avenue to obtain
> each function, then I think we are legally safe to provide the hooks to
> install the software on request, so long as we leave it to the distros to
> decide how to do that.  Our defence would be that we provided the facility
> for legal avenues only, it's not our fault if someone abuses that for
> illegal purposes.

As I said, this won't work because there is no legal avenue for, say,

Also add the fact that until very recently Phonon-GStreamer didn't really
work with the Fluendo mp3 codec (didn't recognize it as a provider of MP3
support)… :-)

> IANAL, we would probably have to consult a good one to
> confirm this is a correct interpretation.

I would suggest that whoever wants to implement this send a mail to the SFLC
(they gave some legal advice re. the ArchLinux multimedia packages, so I know
they know about these kind of problems).

Martin Sandsmark 

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