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

Alexander Sack asac at
Tue Sep 16 11:40:22 BST 2008

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 06:15:53AM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> 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 
> problematic.
> 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.

We use "Mozillateam" in the Maintainer field (compared to Core Dev or
MOTU) - which could be intepreted as "please ping mozillateam before

So maybe we could make a general rule like: If the maintainer field isnt
core dev or MOTU, please try to get in touch with the maintainer first?

 - Alexander

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