[packagekit] Handling of License Prompts

Tom Parker palfrey at tevp.net
Tue Sep 11 00:28:51 PDT 2007

Richard Hughes wrote:
> On 10/09/2007, Justin Haygood <jhaygood at reaktix.com> wrote:
>> They can, considering they are standard RPMs, but it's a whole legal grey
>> area.. they didn't agree to any EULA, and the packages (third party non
>> open-source binaries) can't easily be changed to prompt the user to agree to
>> them at runtime.
> Being blunt, sorry, but I don't think broken proprietary software
> should cause the API design to be completely reworked.
> Packages _have_ to be installed silently by the daemon.

Not to apologise for the screw up that is most proprietary software, but 
I would point out that if we can't display the license text, then we're 
probably going to not be able to legally install these packages (not a 
lawyer, etc).

I'd also be willing to bet that a) that we (i.e. people not the company 
that made the programs in question) can't convert them to displaying 
licenses at first runtime (or at least not trivially, and not without 
doing it on a complicated case-by-case basis) and b) the proprietary 
software makers are unlikely to change their practices for the sake of 
us, given that it "works fine for everyone else".

Given both of these, I suspect that given PackageKit's current design, 
we will have to say to our users that "sorry, we can't install that, 
you're going to have to use something else" which may be a *big* 
stumbling block, especially as our primary use case is the average user, 
most of whom want to install Flash, Acrobat, etc.

(Of course, they should be pointed towards the OSS alternatives, but 
then we're into a whole other stumbling block)

It's a b*stard of a problem, but ignoring the elephant in the corner 
won't help us.


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