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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Legal issues about restricted software



Rated
July 12th, 2010, 07:18 PM
Is it legal to use restricted software/formats/plugins ?
I read a lot, but I was not able to find an answer.I'm talking about usage of mp3, flash, nvidia drivers, gstream plug-ins.
I read that it depends on the country, but I couldn't find the list of countries where is it legal where not.(im from Lithuania)
Thanks for help :)

endotherm
July 12th, 2010, 07:24 PM
use is as of yet, untested in any court I am aware of. most of the legal issues come from patent encumbrance (where the author is liable), or redistribution (where the distributor is liable).
either way, you're not likely to have to answer any questions about it. the legal worries are upstream.

Rated
July 12th, 2010, 08:40 PM
use is as of yet, untested in any court I am aware of. most of the legal issues come from patent encumbrance (where the author is liable), or redistribution (where the distributor is liable).
either way, you're not likely to have to answer any questions about it. the legal worries are upstream.
I care if I violate the law, not if I get pusnihed.
Anyone know for sure if it's legal or not ? p.s if it's illegal it shoud be some way to pay for licenze or smth

WinterRain
July 12th, 2010, 09:01 PM
If you are that concerned, just go http://shop.canonical.com/index.php?cPath=19 and buy the restricted stuff.

cascade9
July 12th, 2010, 09:08 PM
nVidia drivers, flash, etc are not a problem.

I doubt that you would ever have issues with mp3, wma, wmv, etc, but if you are worried about it.....just use free codecs (ogg, flac, ogg thedora, etc).

endotherm
July 12th, 2010, 09:21 PM
I care if I violate the law, not if I get pusnihed.
Anyone know for sure if it's legal or not ? p.s if it's illegal it shoud be some way to pay for licenze or smth
well the licensing is for distribution not use. as for whether a given peice of code is legal in your country you will have to ask a local lawyer. the problem is that they probably can't tell you either, because the code is not illegal until declared so by a court. If a court in your country deems the particular piece of code to be infringing, then you have your answer, but this needs be undertaken for each and every peice of code, testing it against patents and standing copyrights. that means that one small peice of one small library may infringe and the rest doesn;t, or vice versa.

as such it is impossible to answer your question. as a favor to us, cannonical has informed us that the code may be legally dangerous under certian circumstances and perfectly legal in others.

unfortunately the rest of the work remains on your shoulders.

Rated
July 12th, 2010, 10:51 PM
cannonical has informed us that the code may be legally dangerous under certian circumstances and perfectly legal in others.

Would you have a link where did they stated that ?

Anyways I can't understand this yet.Canonical sells codecs in their internet store and at the same time gives for free and even a tutorial how to use it (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats).

You guys helped, but there is still a lot of reading to do in the way to the truth ;D

If it was legal canonical wouldn't sell the codecs.If it was illegal they woudn't give it 4free paradox... ;D

Chronon
July 12th, 2010, 11:08 PM
You are oversimplifying things. The laws are not uniform across all localities. In some locations the free codecs are safe and legal. In other places, certain patents might be accepted and there could, potentially, be issues. Users are expected to exercise some diligence and know what the laws are in their region.

If you are in doubt and don't wish to dig around in legal arguments then you can purchase the known legal codec pack.

endotherm
July 13th, 2010, 05:09 PM
Would you have a link where did they stated that ?

Anyways I can't understand this yet.Canonical sells codecs in their internet store and at the same time gives for free and even a tutorial how to use it (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats).

You guys helped, but there is still a lot of reading to do in the way to the truth ;D

If it was legal canonical wouldn't sell the codecs.If it was illegal they woudn't give it 4free paradox... ;D

in the case where Canonical sells them to you, they have a license to redistribute, and thus they can grant you a license to use, whether one is required or not in your locality.

there is no black and white legal or not answer to this question. you will have to do your own homework on it. more than that, there is the question about copyrights vs pattents. many oss products are under copyleft licenses, but implement patented concepts (whether knowingly or not). in these cases, canonical has the right (or is that left) to redistribute all they want, but face other trouble if the authors get sued for patent infringement, and are forced to stop sharing their code with canonical.

as for a link, just open software center and search for "Restricted Extras". you will find a message on each of the packages providing this warning.