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Re: xcdroast does no longer work with wodim: Who to blame?

On Mon, 2 Mar 2009, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

On Mon, Mar 02 2009, Bill Unruh wrote:

Agreed, both sides have to come to the conclusion that they are
operating legally. On the plus side, Schilling would like to have his
software distributed in the distros. He is also strongly of the
opinion that there is no legal impediment to that happening. Debian is
of the opinion that there IS an impediment. It is not that Schilling
recognizes the impediment and refuses to clear it, it is that he does
not believe that there is one. Thus both sides are to a large extent
on the same page (wanting to distribute and to do so without legal
impediment). Now the question is, is there some way of clearing out
the underbrush so that both sides agree that there is no

       That assumes a priori that Debian's position is wrong, and that
there is no legal impediments to distributing upstream cdtools. How
about countenancing the view that there could actually be a legal
issue, as Debian thinks there is?

Yee gads, no it does not. Yes, debian sees a legal issue ( just what its depth
is neither I not Debian I suspect really knows). All I am saying is that the
two sides are NOT far apart on their goals. Both would like to distribute
cdrtools, both want it to be open source and to allow people to make changes.
Schilling believes that these conditions are already met, Debian does not.
Debian believes that with the current license situation, they cannot
distribute the binary code more mkisofs due to the dual CDDL(libscg)
GPL(mkisofs) licensing of components of the binary.

Complicating the situation is that US copyright law contains the concept of
derivative work ( a very vague term) while apparently Germal law does not.

"Clearing out the underbrush" could well involve changes to the licensing, or
clarification of the licensing. I am certainly not a sufficient expert in
World copyright law to know exactly what it would take, nor I suspect are you.
That there is a dispute is clear. That the dispute is unsolvable is far from
clear to me.

       An attempt at mediation that starts from such a biased stance is
unlikely to succeed.

And any approach in which each side assumes that mediation will always fail,
and that reads all proposals as enemy proposals will probably also fail. If
you want this to be and remain like Northern Ireland or Palestine, I certainly
cannot stop you. But I would suggest that the only outcome of that approach is
to harm the users of Debian and of cdrtools, who should be both sides primary

Alternatively both sides could agree on those areas in which they do agree (
which I would suggest is a lot) and then see if the remaining issues can be

Note that regarding the legal issues, it would really be helpful if both sides
make their correspondence with Moglen public, so that we can see what the
legal issues that divide the two sides really are. Or maybe even more
helpfully, what the minimum changes are required to come to agreement.


William G. Unruh   |  Canadian Institute for|     Tel: +1(604)822-3273
Physics&Astronomy  |     Advanced Research  |     Fax: +1(604)822-5324
UBC, Vancouver,BC  |   Program in Cosmology |     unruh@physics.ubc.ca
Canada V6T 1Z1     |      and Gravity       |  www.theory.physics.ubc.ca/

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