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Thread: Why are the video codecs considered 'non-free'

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Why are the video codecs considered 'non-free'

    Hello all - I'm very curious - I have installed the 'non free' codecs for totem, but when I added the medibuntu repo, software update offered me to download updates to these.

    So question 1: why are these codecs considered 'non free' - what exactly does that mean, since they aren't stolen or anything.

    Question 2: why does medibuntu offers to update them further, as opposed to totem which already had given the warning about them being 'non free'.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Why are the video codecs considered 'non-free'

    non-free means that it's not open-source. Is just for cross-platform compatibility. These packages are not maintained by Ubuntu team. More examples are FlashPlayer , nVidia, ATI drivers , etc.
    *NIX makes business nowadays.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Re: Why are the video codecs considered 'non-free'

    Thanks! That makes sense.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Hamburg, Germany
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Why are the video codecs considered 'non-free'

    Quote Originally Posted by ldfj3jf View Post
    So question 1: why are these codecs considered 'non free' - what exactly does that mean, since they aren't stolen or anything.
    Free Software should not be understood as in "of no charge" (like in Free Beer) but rather as in modifiable to your needs (much like in Free Speech).
    With free software you usually have access to the source code, are allowed to modify it, incorporate it in your own project and redistribute it.
    Neither of the three is allowed for some codecs or flash.

    Quote Originally Posted by ldfj3jf View Post
    Question 2: why does medibuntu offers to update them further, as opposed to totem which already had given the warning about them being 'non free'
    Totem might still reference to an older version and the medibuntu repository have been updated in the meantime.
    One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, speak a few reasonable words...

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