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Re: compiling a Debian package

On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 03:39:04PM +0100, lee wrote:
> Darac Marjal <mailinglist@darac.org.uk> writes:
> > libdvdcss2 brute forces the decryption on the disk and, so, might be
> > considered circumvention under the DMCA. This IS allowed in some cases
> > and in various other jurisdictions, but it's not really a sensible move
> > for Debian to freely distribute such a package.
> I'm aware that there are legal issues involved.  Are there such issues
> with other software that is available only from dmo and not in Debian,
> like cinelerra?

I'm not familiar with cinelerra but, according to the BTS([1] and [2]),
there have been two^Wseveral attempts to package cinelerra that have
fallen by the wayside. That latter bug seems to suggest that cinelerra
depends on non-free software (so it could, perhaps, go in contrib).

As ever, if you care about this software, consider helping to fix the
remaining issues.

> It is not illegal to use NVIDIA drivers, yet they are deprecated,
> without alternative.  It is probably not illegal to use firmware to get
> hardware working that doesn't work without, yet firmware is deprecated,
> without alternative.

The NVIDIA proprietary drivers are not "deprecated without alternative"
by any means.

1. nvidia-glx is in non-free due to licensing restrictions (NVIDIA state
   at [3] that the "SOFTWARE [...] may be copied and redistributed,
   provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way"
   and that Debian "may not [...] attempt in any other matter to obtain
   the source code". So, while it's legal to use the software, it's not
   legal to use the source. Thus, it's a complete black box. There is NO
   way to know that a problem on a system with the NVIDIA driver is not
   caused by that driver.

2. As an alternative there ARE the nouveau and nv drivers. These are
   reported to display desktops on several of the NVIDIA devices but, of
   course, they're reverse-engineered by volunteers so likely don't work
   as well as the driver by the people who actually designed the

So you have two options, use the NVIDIA driver (with the knowledge that
it "may access, collect non-personally identifiable information about,
update, and configure Customer's system in order to properly optimize
such system for use with the SOFTWARE") or use the open driver.

> The obsession with free software unfortunately leads to dead ends.
> Apparently even developers now don't want to stay 20 years behind
> technology anymore, so they have regressed to deprecate everything
> that's not free software to force the issue.  That's probably leading to
> a dead end as well, and I don't want to get stuck there.

What would you have them do otherwise? Nothing (that I'm aware of) in
Debian bans you from using non-free software. There is only the
understanding that support for non-free software is the responsibility
of that software's provider.

Anyway, I feel like I'm feeding a troll here, so I'll just point you to
Debian's Social Contract[4] which describes this better than I can.

[1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=78209
[2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=331072
[3] http://www.geforce.com/drivers/license
[4] http://www.debian.org/social_contract

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