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

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Tue Sep 16 11:15:53 BST 2008

On Tuesday 16 September 2008 02:59, Reinhard Tartler wrote:
> Scott Ritchie <scott at> writes:
> > 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.
> FWIW, I think especially when there are a few packages affected by this,
> it is quite likely to forget to look at the wiki page at each 'apt-get
> source' command. It should therefore be made clear at download time what
> restrictions are on a package.
> Isn't that what we have archive section for? apt-source pretty clearly
> tells me if I'm downloading something from multiverse or restricted.

The problem is these packages are in Main/Universe because they can be 
modified, but only if they are rebranded, so while they meet Ubuntu licensing 
policy for Main/Universe, as a practical matter changes are legally 

To take the Mozilla example, it's my understanding that we need permission 
from Mozilla corp before we patch.  I'm certainly not situated to get that 
permission, so I really can't modify it.

I would imagine there are other packages in the archive that our ability to 
make changes to without rebranding is limited.  I'd like some kind of 
reference list available to developers so they can know.

I have my own opinions about the entire Firefox question, but that's for a 
different thread.  Like it or not, such licenses are allowed in Main/Universe 
and so I'm trying to improve how we deal with this reality.

Scott K

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