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kevdog
September 23rd, 2008, 01:36 PM
As originally read on distrowatch who pointed toward the Canonical Blog: http://blog.canonical.com/?p=37, I see that now Ubuntu's parters are selling licensed codecs that can be installed through the apt system. What's the point of this, when you can get these codecs through other channels? I don't get this offering.

eragon100
September 23rd, 2008, 01:44 PM
As originally read on distrowatch who pointed toward the Canonical Blog: http://blog.canonical.com/?p=37, I see that now Ubuntu's parters are selling licensed codecs that can be installed through the apt system. What's the point of this, when you can get these codecs through other channels? I don't get this offering.

The legal dvd player is not available trough any other channels, because the dvd player normally is OEM-only (DELL included it, for example). This is the first time ever regular users can buy the dvd player. Canonical seems to understand the meaning of "vendor lockin" by the way, as you HAVE to use ubuntu to install this, and can't get them anywhere else :popcorn:

Dragonbite
September 23rd, 2008, 04:39 PM
The legal dvd player is not available trough any other channels, because the dvd player normally is OEM-only (DELL included it, for example). This is the first time ever regular users can buy the dvd player. Canonical seems to understand the meaning of "vendor lockin" by the way, as you HAVE to use ubuntu to install this, and can't get them anywhere else :popcorn:
So is this available upstream (Debian)?
I wonder if Fluendo will eventually sell it to individuals like it says it will

http://www.fluendo.com/products.php?product=dvd
In our work towards ensuring that Linux and Unix users have multimedia capabilities that match or exceed those found on other platforms, Fluendo is producing a full-featured DVD playback application.

We will sell this player both to individual users and offer it to operating system and distribution makers for bundling.


So this may be so for now, but they would be fools to not make it available for sale to individuals.

Probably the issue at hand is making sure one person doesn't purchase it and then make the codecs available to anybody and everybody.

I've long thought the hardware vendors should include the full packet of codecs and pass that cost along with the cost of the hardware.

BigSilly
September 23rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
I think it's a great idea, but boy are they expensive to buy. 25 is pretty steep for a proprietary DVD player on your PC imho, and another 20 for full codecs pushes it over the edge for me.

Glad I live in the UK, put it that way.

Borsook
September 23rd, 2008, 08:31 PM
I assume that the free codecs are still there? Or is there going to be a big migration to Linux Mint (not a bad idea;))? As for there not being a free DVD player - what do you mean? What about VLC for starters?

alzie
September 24th, 2008, 02:49 AM
It's proprietary software so they are entitled to charge for it and I don't have an issue with it. The DVD software is Cyberlink PowerDVD Linux and is the same price as PowerDVD for windows at their site.

I'm just annoyed as I got PowerDVD with my DVD burner but its not for linux :(

TBOL3
September 24th, 2008, 02:53 AM
The legal dvd player is not available trough any other channels, because the dvd player normally is OEM-only (DELL included it, for example). This is the first time ever regular users can buy the dvd player. Canonical seems to understand the meaning of "vendor lockin" by the way, as you HAVE to use ubuntu to install this, and can't get them anywhere else :popcorn:

That's what I thought. I wondered what would happen if you left ubuntu.

NIT006.5
September 25th, 2008, 07:27 AM
I have just had a rather embarrassing situation arise over this. We have just submitted an article (which we do monthly) to a local newsletter published by the Computer Society of Zimbabwe, and along with our article bragging about the Ubuntu promise of always being free, they also published a link to this article:

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20762/1090/

which claims that Ubuntu has become commercial and is no longer free based on this codec issue. I have so far been unable to find out for sure, whether or not the free download of codecs is still available? I would assume so, but can anyone confirm this before I start complaining to the people who mass-mailed that link? I would appreciate it if anyone can shed any light on what is actually happening and what the implications are.

amac777
September 25th, 2008, 07:57 AM
Yes, you can always just download and use the free codecs. Those are still available just like always.

The only thing that is happening is that now it's easier to buy legal versions of the codecs if you so need. For example, business or individuals that want to run ubuntu in countries where the free codecs are illegal. Before this announcement, these businesses or individuals could still buy the codecs, but it wasn't integrated in the Ubuntu store. Now they're in the store so it's a little easier to buy. If you want, you can buy fully-supported, license-fee-paid codecs that will not put yourself in legal jeopardy.

There's really no difference except for it being a little easier to buy than before.

ankursethi
September 25th, 2008, 08:02 AM
I've always been confused about the legality of the codecs you get from the repos. Are these illegal everywhere in the world or just illegal in countries who recognize software patents?

LaRoza
September 25th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Glad I live in the UK, put it that way.

Why? You have the same "laws" as many other nations.


I assume that the free codecs are still there? Or is there going to be a big migration to Linux Mint (not a bad idea;))? As for there not being a free DVD player - what do you mean? What about VLC for starters?

Yes, of course. As for there being a free DVD player, it is more complicated than cost. VLC and the free codecs are technically breaking some laws in some countries, which basically state you can't try to decrypt something. This is very silly. If it is illegal to try to break an encryption, what is the point of encrypting it? Basically, CSS (the DVD encryptions system) is just there to annoy people. It is very weak and easy to break. If they were smart, and the various organisations weren't so greedy, it wouldn't be encrypted and the laws would remain the same. No DRM scheme will ever work.

Borsook
September 25th, 2008, 12:00 PM
I've always been confused about the legality of the codecs you get from the repos. Are these illegal everywhere in the world or just illegal in countries who recognize software patents?
Rather the latter, unless there is some strange international agreement. Generally you are bound by the law of the country you reside in.

Dragonbite
September 25th, 2008, 01:37 PM
I in no way am trying to start a flame-war or anything this is purely something I am trying to figure out.

PCLinuxOS ships with some multimedia codecs and Flash installed. I have not fooled around with it enough to know what all it comes with but if this is true:
Is this legal for them (or anybody) to do so?
Does Canonical not include them for legal reasons or Open Source support reasons (either of which are perfectly acceptable)
Does PCLiuxOS include DVD codecs as well?
Like I said, I do not want a flame war I just want to figure out how they can include it while just about every other distribution (and the 3 main distributions) does not; choice or legal?

I also haven't tried Linux Mint which may contain some of this which I am questioning.


If the Mods so deem too "hot to handle" please feel free to remove this post.

Borsook
September 25th, 2008, 01:46 PM
I in no way am trying to start a flame-war or anything this is purely something I am trying to figure out.

PCLinuxOS ships with some multimedia codecs and Flash installed. I have not fooled around with it enough to know what all it comes with but if this is true:
Is this legal for them (or anybody) to do so?
Does Canonical not include them for legal reasons or Open Source support reasons (either of which are perfectly acceptable)
Does PCLiuxOS include DVD codecs as well?
Like I said, I do not want a flame war I just want to figure out how they can include it while just about every other distribution (and the 3 main distributions) does not; choice or legal?

I also haven't tried Linux Mint which may contain some of this which I am questioning.


If the Mods so deem too "hot to handle" please feel free to remove this post.
Linux Mint does indeed include all of these (it's great when running from the Live CD). It is legal for them because it is not forbidden by the country where the developer(s) of Mint live and where large part of their target public live (thankfully there are plenty of people elsewhere who are proud to break such "laws"). They do however have a version without codecs for "problematic" countries (that's mainly US).

I think Canonical does not include them for both reasons. The legal one is extremely silly btw. AFAIK the fact that the codecs are not installed by default but there is a prompt asking to download them does not change the legal situation by one bit. The other reason is at least logical, even though I personally find against the maxim "linux for the human beings" ;)

BigSilly
September 25th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Why? You have the same "laws" as many other nations.

I was just trying to say that I'm happy to use the free codecs, which as I understand it are legal to use here in the UK. Am I wrong on that? Please tell me if so.

Regarding DVD codecs, it's a real pain because I bought a new drive not so long ago, and it came with Nero and PowerDVD - both for Windows of course!

billgoldberg
September 25th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I've always been confused about the legality of the codecs you get from the repos. Are these illegal everywhere in the world or just illegal in countries who recognize software patents?

I think they are only illegal in the US.

I have never heard of someone getting in trouble for using them there. Nobody is even looking for them.

rustybronco
September 25th, 2008, 02:52 PM
http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20762/1090/

One can indulge in semantics all one wishes but a distribution which cannot play a DVD is something that nobody will use these days.
odd, I use it without dvd capabilites...

and yes I would pay for the codecs if needed.

solitaire
September 25th, 2008, 03:05 PM
I have no issues with Canonical offering the DVD software / Codecs.

In some places being "Legal" is far more important than being "Cost Free".

But you still have the choice to go free or pay.

basenvironment
September 25th, 2008, 03:50 PM
The issue is not really a end-user issue.

If someone legally obtains content that is encrypted and uses whatever means to unencrypt it, the simple fact is they have a right to the content.

Part of the DMCA states

(c) OTHER RIGHTS, ETC., NOT AFFECTED- (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title

As far as I am concerned, the DMCA is really another tool to use against ILLEGAL actions involving encrypted content.

SunnyRabbiera
September 25th, 2008, 05:28 PM
The issue is not really a end-user issue.

If someone legally obtains content that is encrypted and uses whatever means to unencrypt it, the simple fact is they have a right to the content.

Part of the DMCA states


As far as I am concerned, the DMCA is really another tool to use against ILLEGAL actions involving encrypted content.

Bah the DMCA is as balanced as a drunk who had one too many beers.