[conspire] marillat.free.fr -> www.debian-multimedia.org

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jun 21 15:04:07 PDT 2006

Daniel's Ubuntu-modifying script reminded me of this recent e-mail.  To
explain, Debian's package repositories _do_ carry proprietary (e.g.,
some multimedia) packages in the non-free collection, but for reasons of
legal safety omit packages that for whatever reason cannot be -- or
_arguably_ cannot be -- lawfully redistributed.  Because many Debian
users want to install some such software anyway, e.g., mplayer with
Win32 codecs whose very presence conflicts with its own GPL licensing,
menconder, transcode, XdTV, DeCSS, MythTV, Cinelerra, Adobe Acrobat
Reader, RealPlayer 10, Macromedia Flash, ffmpeg, Hear Your Music
aNywhere (HYMN Project) tools to remove iTunes DRM from AAC ("m4p")
files, various MP3 encoders/decoders, etc., third-party repositories
sprang up.  (For those who like iTunes Music Store, there's even a Linux
client for it, called Sharpmusique.)

The most successful was Christian Marillat's "marillat.free.fr" host, in
France -- _so_ successful that searching "marillat "debian" will find
you any number of mirror sites, even though Marillat's own host has 
gone away.

Recently, one such mirror has stepped forward and aspires to take
marillat's place as a canonical site.  So far, it has packages compiled
for DEC Alpha, i386, AMD64, Itanic, and SPARC.

A few words about such repositories in general: 

The good:  Protecting Linuxers' fair-use rights to use multimedia
material they've lawfully acquired is important.  Thus, tools like
MythTV. HYMN Project, etc. are vital -- and should by right be lawful. 
(The copyright barons allege that some of them violate the DMCA statute
they bought and paid for.  They may be right.  It should be voided or

The not-so-good:  If you check the licences of Adobe Acrobat Reader,
Macromedia Flash, and RealPlayer 10, their authors have _not_ given
permission for third parties (such as marillat and successor
repositories) to redistribute them.  The presence of those packages is
clear, simple copyright violation.  The Linux community, _unlike_
proprietary OS users, are distinctive in respecting software authors' 
copyrights -- sometimes by saying "Screw your bullshit licence; I'm
going to do without your code and help write something better."  That's
how we got, e.g., xpdf and cousins, gplflash, etc. -- not by sleazing 
around ripping off authors and hoping to slip through cracks in
copyright enforcement.

I don't know about you, but, when I insist on my fair-use rights, I
don't want to be vulnerable to the accusation that I'm just a
bootlegger and need DRM enforced against me to compensate for my lack of

----- Forwarded message from Peter McMullen <peter at mcmullen.net.au> -----

From: Peter McMullen <peter at mcmullen.net.au>
Reply-To: peter at mcmullen.net.au
To: luv-main at luv.asn.au
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 00:05:04 +1000
Subject: Re: TV Tuner Cards

On Tuesday 20 June 2006 21:41, Kamal Advani wrote:
> Failed to fetch
> ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/dists/etch/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz
>  Unable to fetch file, server said 'Can't open
> /debian-marillat/dists/etch/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz: No such file
> or directory  ' [IP: 21]

Get rid of this from your /etc/apt/sources.list and replace it with

deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main 

And that will get you all the mythtv staff that was at the now deleted 
marillat site, plus a lot more. What was three packages has now been broken 
down very finely, so you can select the components you want

It currently has all the 0.19  versions, and seems a lot tidier than it was 

----- End forwarded message -----

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