[aur-general] PKGBUILD that downloads ilegal content

Hugo Osvaldo Barrera hugo at barrera.io
Tue Jul 7 05:52:47 UTC 2015

On 2015-07-06 13:16, Daniel Micay wrote:
> On 05/07/15 01:39 PM, Hugo Osvaldo Barrera wrote:
> > There's a PKGBUILD[1] on the AUR that downloads a binary that is illegal
> > to distribute (due to licensing, it may only be distributed in source
> > form).
> > 
> > IMHO, it's a bit of a grey area if the PKGBUILD is legal or not (I
> > believe it is not in some jurisdictions), but anyone running it is
> > receiving illegal content, so I don't think we should keep it around.
> > 
> > I put up a deletion request[2] for this, and the response was "The AUR
> > does not distribute binaries.".
> > 
> > While this is true, it does distribute the PKGBUILD for downloading the
> > ilegal binary. This is not a case of "the package can be used to do
> > something possibly illegal", this is a case of "this script was tailored
> > exclusively and with the sole objective of distributing something
> > illegal, and can only be used for that".
> > 
> > [1]: https://aur4.archlinux.org/pkgbase/telegram-desktop/
> > [2]:
> > https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/aur-requests/2015-July/007698.html
> The AUR doesn't redistribute it. A better complaint would be that the
> package should have a -bin suffix. It's open source so the unsuffixed
> version should be built from the sources.

I noticed this too, but it didn't worry me as much.

> The legal issues are upstream's problem as they're the ones choosing to
> keep illegally distributing it. It's not going to be much of a problem
> for them because it's unlikely that any of the contributors to the GPL
> code actually cares. It's a technicality, not something that's actually
> causing damages or that's ethically wrong. I don't see a good reason to
> remove it, either from a legal or ethical standpoint. It would only be a
> problem if Arch was actually distributing it.

Arch is giving users a tool which has the sole purpose in helping distribute
those binaries, and that's a really dark-grey area that might be dangerous to
step into, IMHO.

Hugo Osvaldo Barrera
A: Because we read from top to bottom, left to right.
Q: Why should I start my reply below the quoted text?
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