[arch-dev-public] Chromium losing Sync support on March 15

Konstantin Gizdov arch at kge.pw
Tue Jan 26 23:23:58 UTC 2021

On 1/26/21 9:20 PM, Evangelos Foutras via arch-dev-public wrote:
> If people are still concerned about angering Google, even though
> there's probably nothing illegal about bundling Chrome's keys (when
> also considering the aforementioned permission from 2013) then let's
> just remove the package from our repos instead of officially providing
> a potentially unsafe and feature-incomplete browser.
> [1] https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/g/chromium-packagers/c/SG6jnsP4pWM/m/Mt0U_lWPDAAJ
> [2] https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/g/chromium-packagers/c/SG6jnsP4pWM/m/OOxl9wKLAAAJ
I've been following the conversation with much interest and I can see we
all feel very similarly about this.

I went through the links you mention and the email you attached. What
strikes me is that at some point, one of the people on the Google groups
thread just says that the person who gave the initial permission to use
Google's API keys had no legal right to give it. I can say for certain
that exact action is legally ridiculous in it of itself.

If what they say is correct, then it means Google knew about this for
years and did nothing, and their inaction means lack of IP enforcement
preventing them from launching legal action against anyone today. On the
other hand, if their claim is incorrect and Arch Linux was legally
granted such permission, then Google has to officially withdraw that
permission and as far as I can tell they have not done that
appropriately. Basically, in any case, what they are forcing us to do is
in my opinion disgusting and frankly can be considered coercion.

However, I do not think that anyone would give any flying **cks if
Google threw millions at a lawsuit against us just to set an example.

The whole situation is infuriating and if it was any other company, not
as big as Google, we would not be having this conversation, we would
just tell them to go away and be done with it.

But as we probably cannot do so, I agree that we should indeed "stick it
to the man" as much as we possibly can for as long as we can.

I am not sure how this would be taken, but I propose we not only remove
it from the repos, but we clean the AUR of Chromium and Chrome too and
we enforce no one uploads any more such variants. This, I believe, is
the only way the message will be loud and clear to our users because
people will have to really share Chrome PKGBUILDs on 3rd party platforms
as if it were illegal. In the end, this is what Google wants, right!? We
cannot distribute Chrome's binary nor can we build a functioning
Chromium. They essentially want their software no where near our _dirty_
platform. I think we should abide.

What is more, I believe if we do have access to a willing legal team, we
should write and submit an official complaint to the EU ombudsman --
Google are in fact crippling an open source alternative to their
browser, limiting choice, disrupting the market place, coercing the
"little man", etc. -- all things for which they were recently found
guilty of and fined by the EU [1].

An official complaint shouldn't cost us anything and will be sending a
message directly where it needed -- publicly, to our users, to our
supporters, to the market and to Google.


[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_vs._Google

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