Ben Nanonote boot image

Jason Self jason at
Thu Apr 8 22:11:27 EDT 2010

> Mirko Vogt wrote::

> All packages are built, the feature-flag is implemented and some libs
> (well-known suspects as libmad, liblame) and packages using them are
> marked as "non-free".
> However, I think you have better knowledge about which packages are free
> and which aren't.
> So I'd like to ask for your help, finding out which pieces of software
> contain patented/non-free content - to mark them as non-free as well.

Sam Geeraerts
> It's still [1] not clear to me why you would lump non-free software and 
> patented software together under the non-free banner. Software patents 
> are not valid in many parts of the world and it's often not clear what a 
> given patent covers exactly. And let's not forget plausible deniability.
> If you feel that software that is confirmed or suspected to be covered 
> by patents should be marked, then it makes more sense to me to use a 
> separate flag (e.g. "patented") for that. That way commercial 
> distributors can play it safe if they want to and customers can choose 
> their distro based on legislation in their country.
> Btw, I'm not an active contributor to the LibreWrt project, so I don't 
> speak for it.
> [1]

I suspect that it's a misunderstanding of the differences in copyright
law and patent law. The two have nothing in common and the myth that
they are somehow connected is spread by those that use the propaganda
term "intellectual property."

I would not object to seeing two feature-flags: One for proprietary
software and another one patent-encumbered software, but LibreWRT is
only seeking to remove proprietary software. Removing patent-encumbered
software is not a requirement to be endorsed by the FSF.


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