PDA

View Full Version : Double standards in how staff deal with illegal activities



mips
January 7th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Why is it ok to ask where to get w32codecs or even link to sites that have them but it is not ok to say for example to ask where to get game roms etc ???

How is w32codecs more legal than games ? Why is it ok to to write guides that tell you to install illegal software.

If i was to post a link to a mame rom site my post will be jailed in a flash but if i did it for w32codecs it would be fine.

KiwiNZ
January 7th, 2007, 09:48 PM
Can you give some examples please

Thanks

meng
January 7th, 2007, 09:52 PM
I believe that using w32codecs is legal for those who own Windows. Someone may dispute this.

PriceChild
January 7th, 2007, 09:57 PM
I believe that using w32codecs is legal for those who own Windows. Someone may dispute this.AFAIK this is true.

If you own windows, you own a license to use these proprietory formats because the distributor has paid to be able to distribute these.

If challenged you may just explain that instead of repackaging the files from windows, seen as you are legally entitled to use them, you just got ready-packaged versions.

In the same way, unless you own the actual games... its illegal to download game roms.

I would say most people have a license for windows, wheras very little have a license for these games.

Pricey

maxamillion
January 7th, 2007, 10:04 PM
PriceChild, I also believe that to be the case.

At the same time, I understand what mips is saying because technically if you own a cartridge of an old NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc. game then technically you own a license to be able to play its corresponding ROM on a computer emulator of the gaming system, so in the end I have no clue why people will scoff at downloading of ROMs but not at downloading of proprietary codecs

KiwiNZ
January 7th, 2007, 10:13 PM
I believe that using w32codecs is legal for those who own Windows. Someone may dispute this.

If you own Windows you can use them on Windows you cant use them on Linux unless the Developer specifies you can in their licence.

Lord Illidan
January 7th, 2007, 10:15 PM
PriceChild, I also believe that to be the case.

At the same time, I understand what mips is saying because technically if you own a cartridge of an old NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc. game then technically you own a license to be able to play its corresponding ROM on a computer emulator of the gaming system, so in the end I have no clue why people will scoff at downloading of ROMs but not at downloading of proprietary codecs

The codecs are not illegal in themselves...I guess it is when you download music from an unlicenced distributor, that is illegal. The codecs are just a tool to play the music. However, the ROMS contain the actual games themselves. I'd rather compare the codecs to apps which can play the roms like znes.

KiwiNZ
January 7th, 2007, 10:15 PM
I believe Game Roms are OK if they have become abandonware and the Developer has agreed that they are.

ubuntu-geek
January 8th, 2007, 03:49 AM
I dont see any reference to threads in question. So how does this pertain to the forums?

aysiu
January 8th, 2007, 05:29 AM
Well, I tried to do some research on the issue, and I'm not sure I see this double-standard. There may be one, but if there is... it's not so clear-cut.

Here's a HowTo on installing w32codecs (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=79449). But then here's also a HowTo on playing Amiga games (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=201396) (involves downloading ROMs). Neither is currently in the Jail.

On the other hand, here's a jailed thread about getting SNES ROMs (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=97933), and here's a resolution center discussion about extracted posts about w32codecs (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=142564) (can't find the posts in question--don't know if they're in the Jail or not).

If there is any kind of double standard, I think it comes down to ambiguity about legality. ROMs people randomly download are 100% illegal and prosecutable. Check out this Google search for arrested game roms (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=arrested+game+roms&btnG=Google+Search). There are actual results with actual news stories of people being arrested for distributing game ROMs. If, however, you do a similar Google search for arrested w32codecs (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=arrested+w32codecs&btnG=Google+Search), you'll see only hypothetical references to being arrested (in fact, only one reference).

There are some hypothetical debates about whether or not w32codecs are illegal:
http://linux.wordpress.com/2006/06/13/ubuntu-one-command-to-have-all-multimedia-working/
http://www.getautomatix.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=288

Most people seem to believe they are, and I think Ubuntu, by not offering w32codecs in the repositories are taking the cautious stance, but in many countries the enforcing of law and interpretation of law often comes down to precedent. Ubuntu probably doesn't want to be that precedent (the distro that got arrested/fined for distributing w32codecs).

Any way in which there appears to be a double standard probably has to do with a perceived ambiguity about the illegality/seriousness of distributing/using w32codecs. There is, however, absolutely no ambiguity about the illegality/seriousness of distributing/using game ROMs.

That's my take on it. Others?

IYY
January 8th, 2007, 05:38 AM
Aren't w32codecs codecs legal in most countries? Why should we not be allowed to say where to get such codecs just because certain governments see it as a crime?

aysiu
January 8th, 2007, 05:45 AM
Aren't w32codecs codecs legal in most countries? Why should we not be allowed to say where to get such codecs just because certain governments see it as a crime?
IYY, this is probably where the "double standard" comes from.

We just don't have any clear word from an official authority on how and where w32codecs are legal or illegal. We don't have any precedent on people being prosecuted for using them or distributing them. We just have a lot of theories.

I think Ubuntu is playing it on the safe side. And I think, ultimately, a lot of moderators try to play it on the safe side. Honestly, the more we discuss it, the more likely it'll be that there'll be an official statement from the forum admin that we can't allow discussion of how to obtain w32codecs... just to be safe. I don't know that for certain, but that's my guess. The Forums and Ubuntu have generally tried to play things on the safe side when it comes to legality.

mips
January 8th, 2007, 08:04 AM
IYY, this is probably where the "double standard" comes from.

We just don't have any clear word from an official authority on how and where w32codecs are legal or illegal. We don't have any precedent on people being prosecuted for using them or distributing them. We just have a lot of theories.

I think Ubuntu is playing it on the safe side. And I think, ultimately, a lot of moderators try to play it on the safe side. Honestly, the more we discuss it, the more likely it'll be that there'll be an official statement from the forum admin that we can't allow discussion of how to obtain w32codecs... just to be safe. I don't know that for certain, but that's my guess. The Forums and Ubuntu have generally tried to play things on the safe side when it comes to legality.

Hasn't the stance up now been that the forum tries to abide by US laws ? I know that what applies in the US does not always apply elsewhere. But if US law is followed then w32codecs would be illegal if you do not own windows & if the license does not allow it even whe in possesion of a legal copy.

Lets also not assume people own (you never really do due to the license) Windows, SNES&Amiga games etc.

I have not posted about obtaining roms/games etc and I never will but this is something I noticed and though would mention.

mips
January 8th, 2007, 08:05 AM
I believe Game Roms are OK if they have become abandonware and the Developer has agreed that they are.

Yes, those would be fine and there are a few of them out there on many platforms.

mips
January 8th, 2007, 08:10 AM
The codecs are not illegal in themselves...I guess it is when you download music from an unlicenced distributor, that is illegal. The codecs are just a tool to play the music. However, the ROMS contain the actual games themselves. I'd rather compare the codecs to apps which can play the roms like znes.

Depending where you live they are. w32codecs is copyrighted & released under a official license agreement.

znes is gpl'd and you are free to distribute/copy it as you please under the gpl.

mips
January 8th, 2007, 08:24 AM
Can you give some examples please

Thanks



If you own Windows you can use them on Windows you cant use them on Linux unless the Developer specifies you can in their licence.


I'm outta here right now but will do this when I get back this evening. But if you entered stuff like w32codec & msttcorefonts etc into the search you will get many hits. They vary from people telling others to install the software, some with links on where to download them (pointing to restricted repos is the same thing) and writing guides.

mips
January 9th, 2007, 07:29 PM
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=275925
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=226846
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=149750
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=149671
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=319429
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=317002
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=288428
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=285516
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=191693
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=66720
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=80925
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=70227
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=54549
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=67879
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=30147
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=67412
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=94
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=208396
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=292973
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=283868
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224671
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=53281
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=235526
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=208396
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=30147

There is plenty more but i got tired.

The mere suggestion of installing w32codecs, msttcorefonts, dcss etc is encouraging illegal activity. Linking to websites and non-free repos are common, you cannot make a distinction between the two.

sudo apt-get w32codecs etc encourages illegal activity


The above all seems fine though but as an example do not dare say " Hey get snes roms from www.romspardise.xmp" or "Download Windows XP from www.msforfree.xmp"

There is no difference between downloading w32codecs & the full XP iso.

Just because there has been no court case regarding w32codecs etc does not mean the practice is legal in any way. If i was to shoplift, not get caught & not be prosecuted does that make it legal ?

aysiu
January 9th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Just because there has been no court case regarding w32codecs etc does not mean the practice is legal in any way. If i was to shoplift, not get caught & not be prosecuted does that make it legal ? I don't see how that's an appropriate analogy. There have been court cases prosecuting shoplifters, and there are many stores that tell you explicitly "Do not shoplift!" with big signs.

Microsoft hasn't issued an official statement saying "w32codecs are illegal," nor is there any precedent of people being prosecuted for it. Nobody is sneaking around downloading the codecs. It's out in the open.

Now, if you want to argue it is illegal, you wouldn't be alone, but I have yet to read an official source that says it is. It may be. I'm not saying it is legal. I'm just saying that, unlike ROMs, the legality is in question and also hasn't been enforced.

d3v1ant_0n3
January 9th, 2007, 07:55 PM
AFAIK, downloading game roms is illegal unless you own the exact same version of the game yourself (i.e If I downloaded the US version of Super Mario World, but owned the UK cart, it would be illegal).

This is just something I'm fairly sure I've read, and can't substantiate, but I've pretty sure it's right.

Establishing whether some of the older titles are abandonware or not could be somewhat tricky- for instance is there a definitive list of who owns the right to the Acclaim titles after they went boom? There are many companies that died long ago, and some of their franchises may have been bought, and some may not have been. It's an amazingly gray area IMO.

mips
January 9th, 2007, 09:00 PM
I don't see how that's an appropriate analogy. There have been court cases prosecuting shoplifters, and there are many stores that tell you explicitly "Do not shoplift!" with big signs.

Microsoft hasn't issued an official statement saying "w32codecs are illegal," nor is there any precedent of people being prosecuted for it. Nobody is sneaking around downloading the codecs. It's out in the open.

Now, if you want to argue it is illegal, you wouldn't be alone, but I have yet to read an official source that says it is. It may be. I'm not saying it is legal. I'm just saying that, unlike ROMs, the legality is in question and also hasn't been enforced.

Ok, forget the anology then.

Do you think ms should release a seperate statement for every single piece of software they have. Don't copy our fonts, dont copy our legally licensed codecs, dont copy our xyz user interface etc. I do not see how the EULA excludes certain pieces of software just because they are now commonly available.

If I say to you I'm the legal owner of music cd 'JunkMusic' and that the music is copyrighted & you may not copy it. You understand very well what that means.

Software is no different, that software is copyrighted and probably covered by a few patents as well. You may not copy it if it is copyrighted. How is the principle any different ? Please explain that to me as i seem to be the one not understanding here.

Why would some distros legally license codecs and others refuse to include them for legal reasons ? These people must have lost the plot, they obviously have the cat by the tail.

You can sugarcoat it as much as you like but we know better, copyrighted material released under license is just that, no butts involved here.

ComplexNumber
January 9th, 2007, 09:18 PM
i always thought that its only illegal to supply w32codecs with a distro in a country where the patents apply. for example, it would be perfectly legal to ship ubuntu with w32codecs in the UK.
likewise in the uk, i don't think its illegal to download them, otherwise it would be illegal to supply them. hence various repos supplying them would be illegal.


HOWEVER, the law on this forum is determined by the laws of where the servers are. so if the servers for ubuntuforums are in the USA, then USA law applies throughout.


i guess it depends upon where a person is located, but because there has to be a common rule on a forum, i'm led to believe that the laws of the country where the servers reside apply.

mips
January 9th, 2007, 09:30 PM
HOWEVER, the law on this forum is determined by the laws of where the servers are. so if the servers for ubuntuforums are in the USA, then USA law applies throughout.


The servers are located in the UK, the domain is registered in the US, the owner resides in the US. It has been expressed before that the forums try to abide to US law.

teaker1s
January 9th, 2007, 09:46 PM
or take my view on things- just quietly get on with it and don't raise any unnecessary light on it.
If I as an individual choose to do an activity the choice to go after me isn't worth it-if a large group do it is worth chasing.The prize may not be high but it strikes fear into others.

If the world was truly moral every illegal activity would be punished,truth is unless it results in a large sum of money companies don't feel morally obliged to go after it.


my advice is if you wish to quietly do something then do it in such a way thats not particularly popular and don't advertise your efforts so they could be easily found and don't do it in a way that will drag others into your legal mess if you are unlikely enough to be caught:mrgreen:

mips
January 9th, 2007, 09:49 PM
If that is the case then we should all be able to quietly carry on with other illegal/immoral activities here and advertise them ;)

ComplexNumber
January 9th, 2007, 09:57 PM
The servers are located in the UK, the domain is registered in the US, the owner resides in the US. It has been expressed before that the forums try to abide to US law.
i may be wrong, but still led to believe that that implies that UK law applies no matter what. the UK is where the forum 'lives', so wherever the domain is registered and wherever the owner resides are unimportant.
if a bit like someone committing a crime in the UK - where that person holds a passport for and where that person is originally from are unimportant. what matters is the law of the land where the person commits the crime. in other words, if someone from europe provides a link to w32coecs somewhere on the forum, it is considered legal (those patent laws don't apply in europe).

teaker1s
January 9th, 2007, 10:00 PM
I'm not advertising any particular activity, if any of mine are technically illegal in uk

Ripping cd's I have bought to an mp3 player

as the music industry has stated they will not pursue this;)

master criminal I'm not:mrgreen:

ComplexNumber
January 9th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Ripping cd's I have bought to an mp3 playerapparently, ripping ones own cd's is illegal in the country(under the 1988 Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act. software isn't included in this law), even though everyone does it. however, the BPI said they will not go after someone who does so (as you've stated).

teaker1s
January 9th, 2007, 10:24 PM
true, it's all a load of **** really as they allow mp3 players to be sold and other software to rip tracks to an ipod or in my case a tiny mp3 player with a brand I can't remember.

like my PURE DIGITAL DAB BUG it records live radio and could technically be illegal. what annoys me is to be recognised as sane a law should have defined boundries, not commercial ones-take maddona's bitching's just greed, no morals

teaker1s
January 9th, 2007, 10:26 PM
this then brings us onto a music cd-if it has copy protection,technically it's software with audio content-remember the chap that got harassed for alleged reverse engineering by simply turning off windows autoplay. or sony rootkit.
It's never been about truth and justice - just greed and profits

aysiu
January 10th, 2007, 03:59 AM
As you can see from the discussion in this thread, there's no clear-cut consensus on whether w32codecs are legal or not.

Our own Wiki (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CommonCustomizations#head-0b3a6b48cd52bfc21e20c67fa0a7e1976864ec87) says:
A package such as w32codecs containing the proprietary Windows multimedia codecs can only be used legally by users who also have purchased a Windows license which allows the use of these codecs. Therefore Ubuntu cannot ship or hold such a package in its repositories. implying the codecs are legal to use--just not legal to distribute.

Now you could argue, as people in this thread (http://www.openfree.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15539&page=3) do, that they're not legal at all, whether you have a copy of Windows or not.

But that's my point--this is all argument and conjecture. Until Windows cares enough (and if they did care, they certainly have lawyers enough to spare in order to start prosecuting Linux users) to make a court case out of it or even a press statement, it will continue to be up for debate.

That doesn't mean it is legal, only that it hasn't been fully and officially established to be illegal, and that current ambiguity explains the supposed "double standard." Whereas Nintendo has on their website an FAQ about their stance on ROMs (http://www.nintendo.com/corp/faqs/legal.html#exploited), I've had a harder time tracking down an official statement from Microsoft about w32codecs (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Amicrosoft.com+w32codecs&btnG=Google+Search). There is, however, plenty of information on Microsoft's website about its stance on piracy (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Amicrosoft.com+piracy&btnG=Google+Search).

Once again, mips, try to understand--I'm not saying w32codecs are legal. I don't know if they are. I'm saying its legality is in question and hasn't been firmly established, either by an official statement from Microsoft or by a court order or by a lawsuit or criminal prosecution.

The more you press the issue, the more likely it will be that the Ubuntu Forums will ban all mention of w32codecs "just to be safe." If your hope is that by exposing this "double standard" the forum admins will allow discussion of ROM downloads, I can assure you it'll be quite the opposite--discussing this further will probably lead to a ban on discussing w32codecs.

People here generally tend to err on the side of conservative.

mips
January 10th, 2007, 09:39 AM
The more you press the issue, the more likely it will be that the Ubuntu Forums will ban all mention of w32codecs "just to be safe." If your hope is that by exposing this "double standard" the forum admins will allow discussion of ROM downloads, I can assure you it'll be quite the opposite--discussing this further will probably lead to a ban on discussing w32codecs.


That is & never was my intention, merely using it as an example.

I will fire off a mail to MS legal department for their views on the issue when I get time.

aysiu
January 10th, 2007, 04:59 PM
I will fire off a mail to MS legal department for their views on the issue when I get time. That'd be great. If they get back to you, can you post the reply here. It would then be the only official stance on w32codecs on the internet.

teaker1s
January 10th, 2007, 05:06 PM
:-k I fully expect that you will get a FUD letter that won't answer the question, but will warn against interfering and altering windows.

KiwiNZ
January 10th, 2007, 06:34 PM
That is & never was my intention, merely using it as an example.

I will fire off a mail to MS legal department for their views on the issue when I get time.

Great idea , I will be very interested to see their response. Remember of course they are not the only rights holders.

mips
January 10th, 2007, 08:18 PM
Great idea , I will be very interested to see their response. Remember of course they are not the only rights holders.

Yes, they license the lots of the codecs from other sources. But at the same time they would probably pretty biased.

Big_Croc7
January 19th, 2007, 12:45 PM
This is how UK law is usually applied in this area - however, this is not to be taken as legal advice on the matter, and also varies substantially from country to country. I may also be wrong on anything ;-)

There are certain classes of material, which music and computer software fall into, that are automatically copyrighted as a 'creative work'. Making a copy of material subject to copyright is illegal without a specific licence from the licence holder - i.e. the licence to use a copyrighted work must explicity state that copying it is legal (e.g. in the GPL), or else it isn't, by default.

However, in the case of software, copyright only covers the exact code as written (e.g. video game ROMs). Being a so-called 'noob' at software, I don't know exactly how the Win32codecs for Ubuntu work; if it is the case that they are simply copied, e.g. from a Windows install disk, this is illegal unless specifically granted this right in the licence (which is unlikely!). If, on the other hand, the codecs used in Ubuntu (e.g.) have been reverse-engineered to perform the _function_ of decoding proprietary media formats, but without copying the actual code directly, this does not infringe copyright law (though obviously, this does not mean copying copyrighted music is legal without a licence).

The situation is further complicated by patent law - if a patent has been granted for a certain codec or format, this has wider-reaching implications than copyright, and could render the above reverse-engineered codec illegal - though, as with copyright law, this varies considerably between jurisdictions.

In the UK, making a copy of music you have purchased (e.g. copying a CD to an mp3 player for your own personal use) is illegal unless specifically granted that right from the rights-holder. (Although as noted by others, some publishers in the UK may have stated they have no intention to prosecute such use.)

In the case of Microsoft-developed codecs it is likely that these are covered by a patent; this would render the use of reverse-engineered codecs illegal in some jurisdictions, such as the US, though others (notably India) have much more permissive laws; however, this is an area which is subject to a lot of change at present. UK copyright law is currently undergoing a review which may legalise copying for personal use.

Hope this helps :)

bonzodog
January 19th, 2007, 05:43 PM
The situation is further complicated by patent law - if a patent has been granted for a certain codec or format, this has wider-reaching implications than copyright, and could render the above reverse-engineered codec illegal - though, as with copyright law, this varies considerably between jurisdictions.


There is also something you have overlooked; Patents applied for inside the US are not applicable outside that jurisdiction, and the UK, being part of the EU does not recognise patents held on Software anyway.

ALSO, you will notice that some distro's actually ship the w32Codecs with them. This is actually perfectly legal, and has been checked thoroughly - There is a loophole in the copyright for the codecs. This loophole allows you to decode wmv's, and mp3's etc, but does not allow you to encode said media. So, technically, Ubuntu could, if it so wanted to, ship the decoders for windows media formats, just as long as it didn't ship the ability to encode to Windows Media formats.

But, it has not yet been actually challenged in a Court of Law, so the issue is still dodgy at best, but Patrick Volkerding , the sabdfl for Slackware, which ships the decoders, has decided to wait until that day comes for him.

Amaranth
January 20th, 2007, 03:30 AM
I'm not sure any of you understand what w32codecs actually is. It's a bunch of dll files from Apple, Real, Microsoft, etc that have been packaged up for install on a linux machine.

Unless you live in a country where copyright does not apply (something like 2 countries) these are illegal to distribute. Even if it is legal to use them on your own machine providing links to places to download them is contributory copyright infringement and you can get sued for this.

Notice I said sued. No one is going to go to jail for linking to them or using them. At least not in most places.

Big_Croc7
January 20th, 2007, 10:36 PM
There is also something you have overlooked; Patents applied for inside the US are not applicable outside that jurisdiction, and the UK, being part of the EU does not recognise patents held on Software anyway.

Possibly, but there's nothing to stop a US-based company from applying for patents elsewhere as well, which presumably they would do. It's not quite so clear cut as recognising patents on software or not, it depends on exactly what the software is doing.

If 'w32codecs' is as described by Amaranth then it comes under copyright law rather than patents anyway (or both!).


so the issue is still dodgy at best

I think this sums it up best!!

deanlinkous
January 21st, 2007, 12:35 AM
Using parts of the microsoft operating system on linux - somehow legal?
Yea, sure. I wonder why microsoft sued lindows.... It wasn't just about the name.

Of course I guess you can argue that a end user can "legally" do so....

mips
March 19th, 2008, 12:35 PM
My issue is with the way the rules are applied or not applied. Some things which are illegal are allowed, links & howtos provided and nobody bats an eyelid. Others try and ask for advice on something that is legit and their thread gets closed.

Here is fresh (19hrs) example I just came across, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=727994

The above is illegal and we have links to sites on how to achieve this.
There are many more examples but I don't feel like going to look for them but I think you get the idea.

Why are staff so inconsistant in applying the CoC? I know you guys are only human but some things are so blatant that it is hard to miss.

frodon
March 19th, 2008, 01:04 PM
My issue is with the way the rules are applied or not applied. Some things which are illegal are allowed, links & howtos provided and nobody bats an eyelid. Others try and ask for advice on something that is legit and their thread gets closed.

Here is fresh (19hrs) example I just came across, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=727994

The above is illegal and we have links to sites on how to achieve this.
There are many more examples but I don't feel like going to look for them but I think you get the idea.

Why are staff so inconsistant in applying the CoC? I know you guys are only human but some things are so blatant that it is hard to miss.This is strange, i search but i can't find your report !

Would it be that you prefer to rant here rather than helping ubnutforums staff to catch what they can't catch because of human limitation.
Or maybe it is not obvious for you that staff can't catch all here and that users have their role to play reporting posts ?

As long as you don't report the posts you use as argument here i'm going to ignore your point and encourage others to do the same, I will report the post so that other staff can review it with me.
Trying to use this at your advantage that way is something i won't qualify but i don't think less.

I won't try to argue with you as it seems your goal here is not to bring insight or/and sort things out.

rune0077
March 19th, 2008, 01:14 PM
The question is not to tell you if you violate the law or not as we surely not have the knowledge and power to affirm this (neither you BTW), the question is to protect ubuntuforums.

If tomorrow we get legal pursuit because of such material on the forum and are forced to close the forum this kind of arguments (even if they are right) are not going to make ubuntuforums reopen and the whole community here would be impacted. I think you will agree that there're more benefit keeping this forum open than allowing you to post something dangerous for ubuntuforums.

Unfortunately we can't pay a lawyer to confirm that one thing or another can't be the starting point of legal pursuits so till we get one we have to be prudent, understand by prudent surely a bit more restrictive than we could be if we would be international law experts.

So if you post such thing now you are more likely to get the thread closed or post removed to protect ubuntuforums and not to censor you.

Umm, okay, but I was in no way suggesting any of the things you stated above, I was simply responding to a previous post about installing Vista on a virtual machine. Just sort of a news announcement, but hey, if you feel better for having posted your post, then good for you. Besides, no one has ever told me on these forums that I was violating the law by installing Vista on VirtualBox before (even though I was) - in fact everyone, including a staff or two, suggested that I should just ignore the law and do it anyway, so I guess mips do have a decent point after all (even though you're going to ignore him, doesn't mean the rest of us has to ;))

mips
March 19th, 2008, 01:25 PM
This is strange, i search but i can't find your report !

Would it be that you prefer to rant here rather than helping ubnutforums staff to catch what they can't catch because of human limitation.
Or maybe it is not obvious for you that staff can't catch all here and that users have their role to play reporting posts ?

As long as you don't report the posts you use as argument here i'm going to ignore your point and encourage others to do the same, I will report the post so that other staff can review it with me.
Trying to use this at your advantage that way is something i won't qualify but i don't think less.

I won't try to argue with you as it seems your goal here is not to bring insight or/and sort things out.

Listen, I have reported enough things in these forums to date. Don't make me out to look like someone that just moans and does nothing. If you can check on report histories for my userid then do so and you will see what I mean.

Would you like me to start reporting threads on things like decss, w32codecs, msttcorefonts as well? If we do that you will have your hands full.

You can ignore me all you want but that does not change the fact that I have a valid point.

How am I not bringing insite? I will tell you that the problem is me asking difficult questions which you guys cannot or prefer not to answer.

mips
March 19th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Umm, okay, but I was in no way suggesting any of the things you stated above, I was simply responding to a previous post about installing Vista on a virtual machine. Just sort of a news announcement, but hey, if you feel better for having posted your post, then good for you. Besides, no one has ever told me on these forums that I was violating the law by installing Vista on VirtualBox before (even though I was) - in fact everyone, including a staff or two, suggested that I should just ignore the law and do it anyway, so I guess mips do have a decent point after all (even though you're going to ignore him, doesn't mean the rest of us has to ;))

Thank you for reinforcing my point, in your case staff actually encouraged you to do something illegal.

Do you recall the post so I can report it as per Frodons suggestion?

rune0077
March 19th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Do you recall the post so I can report it as per Frodons suggestion?

What!?! And have one of my posts reported? Uh no, to many of those has already been reported. Besides, no need to get anyone else in trouble. But I think we are all well aware of the issues you're raising (maybe except for the staff, who apparently would rather chose to "ignore" such things, and we all know how easily problems are solved if only we close our eyes and pretend they're not there, eh?).

frodon
March 19th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Listen, I have reported enough things in these forums to date. Don't make me out to look like someone that just moans and does nothing. If you can check on report histories for my userid then do so and you will see what I mean.

Would you like me to start reporting threads on things like decss, w32codecs, msttcorefonts as well? If we do that you will have your hands full.

You can ignore me all you want but that does not change the fact that I have a valid point.If you don't want to report threads it's your right, it is legitimate and i have nothing against this as long as you don't use not handled threads in your argumentation.
The valid point is that if users don't report posts we can't do anything about heterogeneous rule enforcing. So rant as much as you want, the reality is that the only way to change the point you raised is to report posts.



How am I not bringing insite? I will tell you that the problem is me asking difficult questions which you guys cannot or prefer not to answer.With all due respect, is there any small chance that you would modestly agree to put in question your behaviour rather than always putting in question others behaviour or is it above your strengh ?
We do make errors and recognize this and we try as much as possible to correct them but when you are saying that we are deliberately heterogeneous in our rule enforcing using unhandled threads, which you don't even bother to report, as argument then it is at best disrespectful.

If you are not conscious of this it's a pity as it represents a barrier to any productive communication with you.

bapoumba
March 19th, 2008, 02:22 PM
We cannot read everything that is posted, we rely on reports. All reports are dealt with, all of them, and discussed among Staff when needed.

They are lots of grey areas, from the codecs, to copyrights, network tutorials etc.. We try to give the best answer to each report, and be consistent (ie not to end up allowing something one time and not the other time). I said "try". Some threads can slip through the holes and remain unseen by Staff. If this is felt as being unfair or non-consistent, all we can do is apology, all you, UF Members, can do is report and bring the issue to our attention.

Threads can also be dealt with on individual basis as Staff encounters them. What we do is report our individual actions, for other Staff to know them and to keep an original, unchanged and non-modifiable copy of the post.

We welcome any suggestion to improve our actions and decisions, so that we are fair to everyone. Some lines can be very thin.

mips
March 19th, 2008, 02:29 PM
With all due respect, is there any small chance that you would modestly agree to put in question your behaviour rather than always putting in question others behaviour or is it above your strengh ?


What behaviour of mine are you refering to?

LaRoza
March 19th, 2008, 03:45 PM
I never said it, staff did however.

Yes, we understand that all to well. Why does the CoC exclude things like DeCSS, w32codecs, msttcorefonts, OSX in VM but nails a user for trying to transfer a legitimate os to another computer? Are you telling me the above activities are not illegal?

EULA violated here, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=727994
EULA violated when people install MS components in Linux which they never might have owned(licenced) in the first place

That was a mistake. We mods don't have any special access to the servers, and go by what we hear. The servers are not in the USA, but they once were.

I am not a lawyer, so I do not understand the legal aspects of the above software package, but I thought using OS X in a VM was against the license, as we recently closed a thread talking about it... (About the DMCA, as far as I know, there is nothing on this forum that describes how to break any encryptions as the software is already written. The use of the software hasn't resulted in any legal actions that I know of. VLC (even on Windows) uses that software and many people use it)

That is the in the jail, so I don't see the issue.

Just to let everyone know, we are not able to see every thread, and rely on reports for finding issues.

mips
March 19th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Could staff please move my posts they consider off topic to a new thread before I get an infraction or another pm.

Thank you.

bapoumba
March 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Original thread here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=728031

mips: infractions have not been discussed regarding the original thread.

aysiu
March 19th, 2008, 06:31 PM
I've merged this with mips' older thread.

There is also a Resolution Center thread on this thread:
Double Standards (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=388912)

I can't speak for other forum staff, but I still stand by what I said over a year ago, and I haven't heard any reports from mips about what Microsoft has to say about w32codecs.

sajro
March 19th, 2008, 06:40 PM
According to US law, you may back up your media for restoration in case it's ruined. Thus, if you own (or ever owned) a game, CD, license for Windows, or DVD, you may legally download the associated media (except the actual Windows OS, but why on Earth would you purposely put that on your computer?).

mips
March 19th, 2008, 06:51 PM
I've merged this with mips' older thread.

There is also a Resolution Center thread on this thread:
Double Standards (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=388912)

I can't speak for other forum staff, but I still stand by what I said over a year ago, and I haven't heard any reports from mips about what Microsoft has to say about w32codecs.

I forgot about this thread. That mail to MS was never sent.

LaRoza
March 19th, 2008, 06:54 PM
mods are poopy pants

(Disregard that comment if you don't know where it comes from, it has meaning from another thread)

PriceChild
March 19th, 2008, 08:55 PM
According to US law, you may back up your media for restoration in case it's ruined. Thus, if you own (or ever owned) a game, CD, license for Windows, or DVD, you may legally download the associated media (except the actual Windows OS, but why on Earth would you purposely put that on your computer?).Got to jump in here sorry... How is downloading someone else's copy of Windows, "backing up your own media"?

rune0077
March 19th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Got to jump in here sorry... How is downloading someone else's copy of Windows, "backing up your own media"?

Probably because the software is exactly identical, regardless of it being the one you bought or someone else did. As long as you use your own software key to activate it, etc, etc, I think this should be perfectly legal (I'm no expert on US law, though, but that's how it works where I'm from). Of course the legality only applies as long as you stick to your own key, only download the exact same version of the software/game/music and such.

mips
March 20th, 2008, 01:05 AM
Got to jump in here sorry... How is downloading someone else's copy of Windows, "backing up your own media"?

I think what he means is something in the line of, if I own a music cd X it is ok for me to download the mp3s of cd X from the net instead of ripping it myself. Thats what I understand from his comment anyway.

PriceChild
March 20th, 2008, 02:15 AM
I think what he means is something in the line of, if I own a music cd X it is ok for me to download the mp3s of cd X from the net instead of ripping it myself. Thats what I understand from his comment anyway.Oh yes I understood that bit... I'm just unsure as to whether it would stand. 'If you owned the cd why didn't you make a copy of it yourself'. Anyway, offtopic and irrelevant.

hyper_ch
March 20th, 2008, 10:33 AM
I think what he means is something in the line of, if I own a music cd X it is ok for me to download the mp3s of cd X from the net instead of ripping it myself. Thats what I understand from his comment anyway.
The RIAA has a different stance on that.. even if you own the cd legally and you're just downloading it because it's more convenient than to rip (which they don't really approve also) they think it's illegal to do so...



According to US law, you may back up your media for restoration in case it's ruined.
The DMCA (or another US law) does not have a DRM circumvention restriction?

ubuntu-freak
March 20th, 2008, 10:03 PM
As someone already pointed out, roms have more in common with pirated movies - not codecs, and emulators have more in common with the w32codecs.

If the forums are UK based, then we have nothing to worry about, as UK courts have very little regard for codec patents.

Nathan

Amaranth
March 20th, 2008, 10:15 PM
w32codecs doesn't have patent issues, it has copyright issues. Being in the UK won't help you there.

mips
March 21st, 2008, 01:19 AM
w32codecs doesn't have patent issues, it has copyright issues. Being in the UK won't help you there.

w32codecs & msttcorefonts boils down to copyright infringement and any honest person would agree with this. DeCSS violates the DMCA in the USA as it circumvents encryption teqniques. Just because everybody does it and no leagl action has happened to date does not make it right or acceptable.

If these things were legal why aren't they in the standard repos?

If we all stood back and looked at this from a legal perspective we would know that it is wrong.

ubuntu-freak
March 21st, 2008, 02:34 AM
w32codecs doesn't have patent issues, it has copyright issues. Being in the UK won't help you there.


Good point, thanks.

I think to be honest, the reason no action is ever taken is due to the fact MS, Real and Apple want us to watch their formats, as it contributes to validating them. I guess that's no good thing either.

I still think UK courts wouldn't give a damn though. Ripping CDs is still illegal, and those in-car iPod devices which transmitted an FM signal to the car stereo were illegal until sometime last year. Some laws are made to be broken, mankind is imperfect and so are certain laws.

Nathan

|{urse
March 21st, 2008, 02:43 AM
LOL im going to post a thread on how to record your faVORIte music off the radio onto cassette tapes. ^^

|{urse
March 21st, 2008, 02:44 AM
what now?

hyper_ch
March 21st, 2008, 03:07 AM
Just because everybody does it and no leagl action has happened to date does not make it right or acceptable.
Well, the law should be a reflection of society and if you have a case where everybody does something that the law actually forbids, then the law is out of bounds...

ubuntu-freak
March 21st, 2008, 05:22 AM
Well, the law should be a reflection of society and if you have a case where everybody does something that the law actually forbids, then the law is out of bounds...


Good point. There are many examples of that now, and in the past.

Nathan

fenian
March 21st, 2008, 06:07 AM
Well, the law should be a reflection of society and if you have a case where everybody does something that the law actually forbids, then the law is out of bounds...

Laws are not meant to reflect the will of the masses,the whole reason to have laws is to ensure order and values within a society.The masses do not always act in ways that are beneficial to society,if al large portion of a society were committing murder I certainly hope we would see the problem being with the murderers and not the laws which forbid murder.

hyper_ch
March 21st, 2008, 07:54 AM
Laws are not meant to reflect the will of the masses,the whole reason to have laws is to ensure order and values within a society.The masses do not always act in ways that are beneficial to society,if al large portion of a society were committing murder I certainly hope we would see the problem being with the murderers and not the laws which forbid murder.
There are different approaches for what the law's purpose is... to reflect social values is one of them... however the law is always behind adapting to society.