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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [PATCH] gnu: Add ungoogled-chromium.

From: Gábor Boskovits
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [PATCH] gnu: Add ungoogled-chromium.
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2019 12:16:41 +0100


bill-auger <address@hidden> ezt írta (időpont: 2019. febr.
16., Szo, 9:01):

> it is not clear to *anyone* precisely what the licensing problems are -
> not even the upstream developers have been able to confirm or deny them
> with any certainty - that is the very reason why this ugly situation has
> been standing all these years, as yet unresolved

It seems to me, that there is a whole bunch of people interested in this,
but due to lack of resources or for some other reasons nothing is really
happening. Do you know any we we could help getting this resolved?

> by your own admittance there, you have not "liberated" chromium - you
> have "ungooglified" it, and discarded some non-essential third-party
> code - the work of the "ungoogled" and "iridium" teams has been
> discussed at length and was concluded to be insufficient as a liberation
> procedure, because their work only addresses proivacy issues, but not
> licensing - "liberation" would first require *something* that is not
> FSDG compliant to be identified as such, and *then* for that something
> to be removed or patched in order to be compliant - neither of those
> events has occurred, and we all know it - that is the very reason this
> situation has stood unresolved for so long

I also suspect, that the possible licensing problems are not resolved by this,
if they even exists, what seemingly noone has checked yet.

Also, what ensures you that on the very next commit no non-free software gets

> about a year ago, the FSDG review process and criteria for endorsement
> of new distros was updated - the new FSDG criteria checklist for
> community review that was adopted includes the following essential
> criteria:
>   "Programs commonly known to have freedom issues are liberated or
>   excluded"
> that criteria is a link to the "software that does not respect the
> FSDG" wiki page, which includes an entry for 'chromium-browser' (the
> debian package name) with the liberation procedure being specified as:
>   "Remove program/package Use GNU IceCat, or equivalent"
> that created an uncomfortable pressure point for any distro that wants
> to distribute this browser - according to the literal reading of that
> criteria, no new distro could be endorsed by the FSF today if it
> distributes chromium; because it would never make it past the community
> review stage - this was not a concern for the last new distro because
> it did not include chromium; so that ugly wart is still sitting there
> today

The main question is what needs to be done, in order to get chromium off
that list. Whatever it takes however, it is very clear that upstream won't do
that, so it is not an option to rely on them any more. What's the way forward?

> if chromium enters the guix repo it will almost surely be followed by a
> freedom bug report (which per the current FSDG criteria, would be fully
> justifiable), just as what happened with pureos; which they reluctantly,
> but eventually acted upon by removing chromium from their free repos -
> so, why would guix want to invite controversy, by knowingly repeating
> this historical mistake?

Most probably you are right on this point.

> this is not a comfortable situation for anyone - a number of people
> on this list have openly expressed a strong dislike for that current
> situation - it is a really ugly point of contention at the moment; but
> nothing has been done about it yet - i think the reason for that, is
> mainly because there has been too few interested in defending or
> liberating that program until now - even the pureos devs, who were the
> last to remove it, were not particularly fond of it, but were slow to
> remove it, only to appease users - this would be a great entry point for
> guix to join the discussions on the FSDG mailing list, and perhaps
> resolve this issue for everyone, including distros yet to come
> it was, of course, nice of Marius to offer to assist other distros; but
> individual assistance is not what is needed - what is needed is a
> generally agreed upon, documented, liberation procedure that can
> replace: "Use GNU IceCat instead" as the new FSDG recommendation - i
> think we would all like to see that happen; but i dont think anything
> convincing has yet been presented, much less been discussed openly or
> agreed upon

Yes I think it would be really important to decide what liberation procedure
would be applicable.

> [1]:;bug=28004;att=0

Best regards,

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