[lsb-discuss] LSB conf call notes for 2008-07-30

R P Herrold herrold at owlriver.com
Tue Aug 12 07:09:51 PDT 2008

On Mon, 11 Aug 2008, Theodore Tso wrote:

> also understand that some people have a religious objection to any
> software which is not released under the GPL; but I'm trying to
> determine the actual operational difficulties, not just vague
> religious objections.

I did not raise non-free FOSS/OSI license issues as I recall. 
I do not address it, beyond the implicit 'non-Free' 
nature of being exposed to NDA content and obligations to 
maintain confidentiality.

> I also understand that Mr. Herrold has been raising concerns 
> around Liability and indemnification, which I've addressed 
> as best I have been able, given the very vague nature of his 
> complaints.

Let me make it concrete:

    shipping java (or not)

    eliding trademarked matter to avoid infringement;
 		and protecting CentOS marks and brand

License compliance matters to CentOS; trademark liability 
avoidance matters to CentOS; not exposing the community CentOS 
developers to liability matters to CentOS.

This is not something I just made up last week.  Making java 
or Java available to users has been a thorn in my side for at 
least a couple of years. The CentOS wiki, and a page I publish 
deal with this issue, threading the needle [as one formerly 
did with ssh.fi under the US Crypto export regs a decade ago] 
without crossing the line to become a 'distributor' of Sun's 
Java offerings.

LSB is considering a path which will force accepting 
unacceptable NDA, and 'indemnification' containing licenses 
onto distributions; distributing a compliant and full featured 
'java' (little 'j') in the PATH carries additional problems as 
to distributing admixed 'conforming' Sun and 
non-conformant non-Sun Java.  I do not see how the commercial 
distributors do it without a license waiver from Sun, as to 
gcc-java, etc., but this is not within the scope of my area of 

To me, for the LSB proceeding down that path, to require 
NDA's, and indemnification to Sun (and implicitly at least 
through Java 6 series, the prohibition of admixing 'conformant 
and non-conformant 'java's) is unacceptable, and makes the LSB 
less relevant to CentOS.

> Hopefully folks will find this a fair summary of the 
> discussion to date.

Not at all, as it misses so much nuance, ignores the 
practical exposure to real potential liability from vectors 
NOT mentioned by you (e.g., the admixture distribution 
license' problem, raised in my initial post), and sadly 
strives at triangulation, contrary to that which I have posted 
as clearly as I can.  A full reading of the thread carries my 
concerns, and I will stand on that instead.

-- Russ herrold

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