Let me state the question in full:
How come MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, KNOPPIX, and other "free" distros can support MP3 playback out of the box, while Ubuntu, for legal reasons, can't?
I'm just perplexed by it. It's more of a question about the legal issues concerned, rather than Ubuntu's commitment to free software.
Is it because MEPIS et al are just playing hooky, trying to get away with what they can? Surely there must be a reason.