Packages in Main/Universe I'm not allowed to modify ...

Scott Ritchie scott at
Tue Sep 16 04:10:12 BST 2008

Scott Kitterman wrote:
> This is not directly about the current Firefox EULA debacle, but that is what 
> got me thinking about this topic.
> As an Ubuntu developer, I am not allowed to patch Firefox and upload it 
> because of the Trademark restrictions.  I think that's unfortunate, but I 
> agree it's currently allowed under Ubuntu policy.  
> As I have thought about this, I am concerned that there are packages for which 
> this is the case that I'm not aware of.  When I work on a package in Main or 
> Universe, I assume it's FOSS and I have a legal right to modify and 
> distribute it.  I do not make a habit of reviewing debian/copyright each time 
> I work on a package and I suspect I'm not alone in this.  
> If we're going to allow packages such as this in our primary archives, then I 
> think there needs to be a reference list somewhere that developers can use to 
> see which packages they cannot touch.
> Consider this a pre-discussion of a proposed change in Ubuntu policy.  If 
> there is some consensus around something like this, I'll gather up the ideas 
> and propose a diff to Ubuntu Policy.
> Scott K

I think the exceptions are few enough that we could probably code some
package-specific rejection notification and then keep a list on the wiki
somewhere.  Nothing too fancy would be needed.

Scott Ritchie

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