cdrtools vs cdrkit: flogging the dead horse

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Wed Jan 14 12:49:48 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 02:17:16PM +0200, Davyd McColl wrote:
> My initial investigations (prior to most of my issues with wodim) into the
> cdrkit vs cdrtools debacle left me feeling that Mr Schilling was just being
> plain rude, and that the Debian guys had done a reasonable thing with the
> cdrkit fork. Subsequent to the numerous problems that I've had, and the
> resolution coming in the form of installing the latest cdrtools from schily,
> wherafter wodim on the same drive and media suddenly behaved has lead me to
> question exactly why the official cdrtools are omitted from the repository
> -- at least, from the "non-free" section, if the licensing (which I have to
> admit I haven't examined in-depth, but it probably wouldn't make a
> difference since I don't speak fluent lawyer) is an issue.

The reason it's not in non-free (i.e. multiverse, in Ubuntu), is that
distributing it is currently believed to be a contravention of the
copyright interests of the owners of the elements licensed under the
GPL. When we believe that something is a violation of civil law to
redistribute, that means that we can't put it *anywhere* in the archive,
not even multiverse. The multiverse component is for things that are
legal to redistribute, but just not under a free licence.

The Ubuntu Technical Board is already making efforts to work with Jörg
Schilling to resolve the licensing concerns, although it has been a
somewhat protracted process.

> One of the reasons I shifted from Debian to Ubuntu was the fact that Ubuntu
> made an effort to service the best interests of the userbase, even if it
> meant including non-free content (sometimes in an optional repository).

Indeed - but only when we believe that we can do so legally.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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