SIFT functionality is stripped out from VLFeat

Bug #1313166 reported by Andrea Lazzarotto (Lazza)
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
vlfeat (Ubuntu)
Fix Released

Bug Description

The vlfeat package provided by Ubuntu (and also Debian) has been stripped down by intentionally removing the SIFT implementation. This is what is written in the README.source file:

«The SIFT implementation was removed from the source due to patent issues.
References to it have been removed from the toplevel demo script (vl_demo.m) and
the toplevel documentation file (index.html)

 -- Dima Kogan <email address hidden>, Thu, 7 Nov 2013 17:30:40 -0800»

It is unclear whether these "patent issues" exist or not, at least because software patents are not even legal in a lot of countries. Moreover, there is no documentation whatsoever on how to add the missing functionality. I ended up downloading the source file and building custom deb packages, but this should not be needed by the average user.

I am using Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty and the package without SIFT is octave-vlfeat 0.9.17+dfsg0-6build1. If these "issues" happen to be real, with good evidence, then im my opinion a script should be added to download the missing parts, like Ubuntu does with the deCSS library for encrypted DVDs.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: octave-vlfeat 0.9.17+dfsg0-6build1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-24.46-generic 3.13.9
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-24-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sat Apr 26 20:11:16 2014
InstallationDate: Installed on 2012-07-17 (648 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Release amd64 (20120425)
SourcePackage: vlfeat
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to trusty on 2014-03-24 (33 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Andrea Lazzarotto (Lazza) (andrea-lazzarotto) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in vlfeat (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
dima (9-ubuntu-4) wrote :

The patent has expired. I just uploaded a vlfeat-with-SIFT into Debian, and Ubuntu will pick it up when they roll their next release

dima (9-ubuntu-4)
Changed in vlfeat (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
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