RFC: On-demand package installation API in kdelibs

Thomas L├╝bking thomas.luebking at web.de
Thu Jul 29 18:58:25 BST 2010

Am Thursday 29 July 2010 schrieb Martin Sandsmark:

> The problem is that there is no legal DVD decrypting library.
As mentioned: The fact that there _is_ not does not mean there can not.
Plus libdvdcss is not necessarily illegal, so you could eg. say "f*** can't 
watch DvDs on my Linux box, i'm gonna move to ... Bruges ;-) move there and 
perfeclty legally post-install libdvdcss on your US shipped distribution. 

> So by requiring a DVD decryptor we are explicitly requiring something
> illegal.
... or "not available", eg. i can require a supermodel for my own. I won't get 
one and if i'd kidnap one, i'd commit a crime - that does however not render 
my _request_ any illegal.
> > The legal situation of the distro exclusive actions _cannot_ harm either
> > KDE or external apps like amarok, since they're not in control of distro
> > behaviour.
> But they are responsible for what they ask the user to install, or?
If you mean by "they" the distros: yes sure.
If you mean by "they" the applications like dragon or amarok: asking the user 
to install a particular thing is not part of Lubos' proposal It's only about 
stating an unresolved dependency. While "they" are oc. resposible for such 
statement, it does not imply any action and should by no relevant law be 
illegal by itself (esp. in the US a plain statement is NOT illegal by itself)
> American law, obviously, as they are the ones with the DMCA, and the reason
> we need this API in the first place...
That's actually the driving (legal) question.
If the sole purpose of this API was to break the DMCA you're f*** as long as 
this thing exists, because that'd make this API (by the weird construction of 
this act) indeed illegal.
But i don't understood it to be like this at all.

> > a) "KDE" does not ask for anything just by kdelibs providing
> > some API.
> Well, I'm thinking KDE providing something that is using this API too (like
> dragonplayer or juk), otherwise it wouldn't make much sense, or?
Likely, but that doesn't contradict the point a)

> So if we ask users to install something we are fully aware they can't
> attain legally, we aren't asking them to do something illegal?
- fluendo is afaik legal since it has a license.
- we don't ask to install, but to resolve. That can invoke "WONTFIX" for some 
users, ie. "not possible, don't ask again."

> > c) Iff the distro starts or suggests to install "illegal" stuff and maybe
> > uses kdialog or plasma notifications or anything else provided by
>> [...]
> > Even iff the dialog would clearly say "KDE is asking you: break the law?"
> > that could not put KDE into any charge. This would just be a lie and the
> > appeal /is/ entirely irrelevant.
> If we wrote "Kill your parents", and someone went and actually did that,
> wouldn't it be possible for us to be prosecuted?
Could you please connect that question to the above statement? The point was 
that KDE isn't in charge for whatever it's toolkit & utilities are used for 
and it's also not in charge of what (lies) distros could potentially place 

(completely OT)
If however KDE printed "Kill your parents" that would likely cause trial.
I guess the result would be strongly location dependent and I doubt that it 
would lead to a prosecution in Germany other European countries, since there 
too many interim steps in the cause of action
a) psychological constitution of the killer as source would shadow the call
b) access to weapons (the possibility)
c) and most important: the inability to actually prove that this statement 
caused/triggered this action at all. (if i google, i'll likely find about any 
statement - or i just lookup the bible...) if one could use such as excuse and 
relevant cause or commiting crimes, the whole world would become one single 


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