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

From: Julie Marchant
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [PATCH] gnu: Add ungoogled-chromium.
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2019 21:30:29 -0500

On 02/16/2019 08:37 PM, bill-auger wrote:
> On Sat, 16 Feb 2019 09:18:58 -0500 Julie wrote:
> yes they have - the original bug report noted several; and those were
> said to be fixed

Ah, perfect. Then the problem is solved, no? Those issues, as you say,
were fixed by the Chromium team (according to them, and since you don't
point to evidence that the problems remain, I assume that means they
don't), and the Ungoogled-Chromium project has apparently fixed all
other problems. Unless you are aware of another unaddressed problem,
that is.

> there is a huge difference with this (and i have already made this
> clear, BTW) - the default state for copyright is not "innocent" - the
> default state is "no permission granted" - according to this analogy,
> software is guilty until proven innocent under the existing copyright
> laws - that is not something we can decide to re-interpret

I already responded to this, but it appears it went past your radar for
some reason, or perhaps I just didn't make myself clear enough, so let
me restate it. I'll be talking about how copyright works, so let me just
state upfront that I'm not a lawyer and no one should take this as legal

Copyright is based on declarations. That is, when someone declares that
you are allowed to do something, as long as they are the rightful
copyright holder, you are allowed to do that thing. It's the same sort
of deal as any other permission you might have to get from someone else.
So what you need is proof of such a declaration of permission. That's
what license statements are for.

So looking at the Chromium source code tree, we see a number of text
files. Of particular note, you see a file called "LICENSE", which is
simply a copy of the Modified BSD License. It doesn't specify what files
it applies to, and obviously, there are files it doesn't. But the fact
that they label it this way strongly implies that Chromium is generally
speaking under that license. And when you look through files, that
assumption is reaffirmed with statements that look like this:

// Copyright 2017 The Chromium Authors. All rights reserved.
// Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be
// found in the LICENSE file.

So given this, any differently-licensed file would be an exception, and
it would be very easy to point these exceptions out and then fix them.
The same is true of Linux, by the way, and apparently there was no
problem simply identifying proprietary pieces and removing them.

Hence, I think, if someone says they've produced a version of Chromium
with all freedom-related problems solved, and no one has any evidence to
the contrary, that version of Chromium should be accepted.

Julie Marchant

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