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user1397
February 2nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
So I came across this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1363643) the other day, and in it is a link to a linux mint forum thread (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22377)which basically states that the reason they can include patent-encumbered media codecs is that they are based in Ireland and the EU does not recognize software patents.

Now, considering Ubuntu itself is based in the UK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.) (in the Isle of Man and London to be precise) which is also in the EU, I do not understand why Canonical doesn't include the restricted extras package in the standard distribution.

I tried looking for a thread on this, but couldn't find one. Please no dumb flame wars.

Ozor Mox
February 2nd, 2010, 06:50 PM
It would go against the Ubuntu philosophy. Linux Mint has no such philosophy to worry about as far as I know.

I don't know of the legal implications. Surely even though Ubuntu is based in the UK/Isle-of-Man, they still would not be able to distribute to the US? That's why Linux Mint offers a "lite" option isn't it?

thatguruguy
February 2nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
So I came across this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1363643) the other day, and in it is a link to a linux mint forum thread (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22377)which basically states that the reason they can include patent-encumbered media codecs is that they are based in Ireland and the EU does not recognize software patents.

Now, considering Ubuntu itself is based in the UK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.) (in the Isle of Man and London to be precise) which is also in the EU, I do not understand why Canonical doesn't include the restricted extras package in the standard distribution.

I tried looking for a thread on this, but couldn't find one. Please no dumb flame wars.

Because some countries DO recognize software patents, and Canonical is trying to "market" ubuntu internationally.

user1397
February 2nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
It would go against the Ubuntu philosophy. Linux Mint has no such philosophy to worry about as far as I know.

I don't know of the legal implications. Surely even though Ubuntu is based in the UK/Isle-of-Man, they still would not be able to distribute to the US? That's why Linux Mint offers a "lite" option isn't it?Precisely. Mint has its 'purist' edition. So why can't ubuntu have a 'purist' edition for legal matters in the US, Japan, etc. and have another one with more proprietary things installed by default for the EU/rest of world crowd?

aysiu
February 2nd, 2010, 07:08 PM
Precisely. Mint has its 'purist' edition. So why can't ubuntu have a 'purist' edition for legal matters in the US, Japan, etc. and have another one with more proprietary things installed by default for the EU/rest of world crowd?
Because it's not primarily a legal issue:
http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/philosophy

Roasted
February 2nd, 2010, 07:08 PM
I can understand this being an issue with other distros, but considering how easy it is to install restricted drivers/extras in Ubuntu, I never questioned it or had the desire for anything more.

user1397
February 2nd, 2010, 07:15 PM
Because it's not primarily a legal issue:
http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/philosophyAh, I hadn't taken that into consideration.

Still, it would be kinda cool if they did offer a version with all codecs/dvd playback/restricted stuff installed by default with clear instructions to not download if living in US, Japan, etc.

Mint would be dead in no time...:popcorn:

Psumi
February 2nd, 2010, 08:11 PM
Because some countries DO recognize software patents, and Canonical is trying to "market" ubuntu internationally.

Then why not remove the patent system?

juancarlospaco
February 2nd, 2010, 08:18 PM
Be a man, just 2 clicks and its installed,
we have bigger problems to fix...

Tibuda
February 2nd, 2010, 08:19 PM
Precisely. Mint has its 'purist' edition. So why can't ubuntu have a 'purist' edition for legal matters in the US, Japan, etc. and have another one with more proprietary things installed by default for the EU/rest of world crowd?

Actually, the Ubuntu you download from ubuntu.com is not "purist". The Ubuntu "purist" edition is gNewSense: http://www.gnewsense.org/

Skripka
February 2nd, 2010, 08:20 PM
Then why not remove the patent system?

Because in some countries, i.e. Ma US o'A, trying to get patent reform passed is only slightly less impossible than getting healthcare reform passed.

Psumi
February 2nd, 2010, 08:20 PM
Because in some countries, i.e. Ma US o'A, trying to get patent reform passed is only slightly less impossible than getting healthcare reform passed.

Oh, so then patent reform would be better off? Okay.

LowSky
February 2nd, 2010, 08:25 PM
Then why not remove the patent system?

Yes Corporations would *love* that!
(This is going to get political!) It would take politicians who don't take contributions from software companies or any company with patents for that matter to pass new legislation. Its not going to happen in my lifetime.

I personally think Organizations and businesses shouldn't be able to give money to political parties or its members, I think the monies these parties receive should be taxed and regulated as any gift or service is already, and with limits on donation amounts.

Skripka
February 2nd, 2010, 08:26 PM
Oh, so then patent reform would be better off? Okay.

You'll note my usage of the verbal ninja phrase- "slightly less impossible".

Patent reform, of the sort favored by most linux users, will happen shortly after the Lions win the Super Bowl.

arnab_das
February 2nd, 2010, 08:31 PM
i think this would be a great additional pack for the CD. i remember the very first time i used ubuntu (some 3 yrs back) and (i didnt have any idea about what ubuntu-restricted-extras package was at that time) my first reaction was WTH! ubuntu cant play MP3s? :)

i understand there are legal aspects, but how about having two separate version, one for the 'restricted' countries and the another for the others. not sure if its technically feasible. and it would take, as some might say, useless hard work, but wouldnt it be nice? (especially for newbies)

Skripka
February 2nd, 2010, 08:36 PM
i understand there are legal aspects, but how about having two separate version, one for the 'restricted' countries and the another for the others. not sure if its technically feasible. and it would take, as some might say, useless hard work, but wouldnt it be nice? (especially for newbies)

Because odds are it would hurt Ubuntu's image more, by the implication that Ubuntu couldn't play MP3s in the US. Note I say implication.

Because let us face it. The only country that I personally can think of with anywhere near as draconian and insane a copyright/trademark/patent law as the US is the US. If I'm missing somewhere else, let me know...but I don't know of another country where "restricted codecs" are called as such due to licensing/patent status.

PuddingKnife
February 2nd, 2010, 08:41 PM
Because some countries DO recognize software patents, and Canonical is trying to "market" ubuntu internationally.

Ubuntu gets marketing??

Skripka
February 2nd, 2010, 08:44 PM
Ubuntu gets marketing??

Ubuntu takes the "restricted" codec label to avoid legal issues. Canonical being a corporate entity, needs to worry about being sued for patent/licensing violations. Hence the CYA and annoyances in getting DVDs and MP3s to work.

Most linux distros take a very pragmatic approach to codecs, where you install VLC-and you get DVD/MP3 playback and everything with zero effort (unlike Ubuntu for instance)...that quite frankly is likely illegal in the US. No one goes after those distros though, because there's seldom any one person to sue who has any money to make the deed worthwhile.

PuddingKnife
February 2nd, 2010, 08:48 PM
Ubuntu takes the "restricted" codec label to avoid legal issues. Canonical being a corporate entity, needs to worry about being sued for patent/licensing violations. Hence the CYA and annoyances in getting DVDs and MP3s to work.

Most linux distros take a very pragmatic approach to codecs, where you install VLC-and you get DVD/MP3 playback and everything with zero effort (unlike Ubuntu for instance)...that quite frankly is likely illegal in the US. No one goes after those distros though, because there's seldom any one person to sue who has any money to make the deed worthwhile.

Hmmm. Right. So.. were you replying to me?

I was shocked that Ubuntu apparently has a marketing campaign. I was unaware.

thatguruguy
February 2nd, 2010, 08:50 PM
Then why not remove the patent system?

Among other reasons, because not everyone believes that everything should be given away for free.

thatguruguy
February 2nd, 2010, 08:54 PM
Ubuntu gets marketing??

I don't know what "gets marketing" means. Perhaps you could restate for clarity. However, this website (http://www.ubuntulinux.org/) extols the virtues of Ubuntu as an operating system. That is, indeed, marketing. If they wanted to simply release the operating system on, say, sourceforge, they could do that, instead. Or, they could just release it as a torrent.

jward3010
February 2nd, 2010, 09:44 PM
Actually, the Ubuntu you download from ubuntu.com is not "purist". The Ubuntu "purist" edition is gNewSense: http://www.gnewsense.org/

Well, to be clear there is also an install option for Ubuntu to install or load "ONLY" free software. When booting off CD or USB, hit F6 for "extra options" and you'll see it there.

jward3010
February 2nd, 2010, 09:50 PM
Ubuntu takes the "restricted" codec label to avoid legal issues. Canonical being a corporate entity, needs to worry about being sued for patent/licensing violations. Hence the CYA and annoyances in getting DVDs and MP3s to work.

And also why they enable the "restricted" stuff under Medibuntu, a separate company to Ubuntu which if it comes to it can be the only organisation that can be legally challenged, keeping Ubuntu and Mark Shuttleworth's money safe to some extent.

It's a sad state of affairs but then again so is capitalism... and I'll leave it at that before a fight breaks out.

Wandering Ronin
February 2nd, 2010, 09:57 PM
It's all in how you define "freedom," of course. That would take up another, very long thread, and it's really been done to death already. The literature is out there, if you're interested.

As has been said elsewhere, if you want things by default, consider one of the unofficial remixes, such as Super OS or Ultimate Edition, or, dare I say it, Mint.

I hope I haven't rocked the boat mentioning 'other' OS's here, but in reality, I agree with the comment, Be a man, two clicks and there you have it.

jward3010
February 2nd, 2010, 10:07 PM
Then why not remove the patent system?
Something similar to saying "Why don't we remove corrupt politicians, inequality, war, global warming... and the list goes on..."

It's in corporations interests to love patents. Patents are great for making money, protecting ideas and specifically the wealth associated with it. Great example: I build a laptop with a particular patented and specific memory slots.

You decide after 6 months that you'd like some more memory because things are running a tad slow. You realise that because the slots are so specific and only built by me, that you have to ask me for extra memory. I charge you 1,000 for 256MB and you have to put up with this as no other vendor has the right to build you cheaper memory for the slots as they would be violating patent law, they have to ask me for permission. I can sell them the rights to build it at a price I decide.

An example of this I heard a while back has to do with 3G broadband modems. A group of Linux hackers we're trying to build open source drivers for these devices (made and designed by Huawei) to let them work with Linux systems. They requested the code from Huawei and said they would build the Linux version of the driver. They we're told to cough up $20,000 to get rights to the code. They're poor, like most of us and declined, they ended up guessing the at command stack needed. It's not perfect but it works somewhat. This anti-progressive behaviour above is done by plenty of hardware companies and it's the reason lots of hardware doesn't work or operates badly in Linux.

Psumi
February 2nd, 2010, 10:17 PM
Something similar to saying "Why don't we remove corrupt politicians, inequality, war, global warming... and the list goes on..."

It's in corporations interests to love patents. Patents are great for making money, protecting ideas and specifically the wealth associated with it. Great example: I build a laptop with a particular patented and specific memory slots.

You decide after 6 months that you'd like some more memory because things are running a tad slow. You realise that because the slots are so specific and only built by me, that you have to ask me for extra memory. I charge you 1,000 for 256MB and you have to put up with this as no other vendor has the right to build you cheaper memory for the slots as they would be violating patent law, they have to ask me for permission. I can sell them the rights to build it at a price I decide.

An example of this I heard a while back has to do with 3G broadband modems. A group of Linux hackers we're trying to build open source drivers for these devices (made and designed by Huawei) to let them work with Linux systems. They requested the code from Huawei and said they would build the Linux version of the driver. They we're told to cough up $20,000 to get rights to the code. They're poor, like most of us and declined, they ended up guessing the at command stack needed. It's not perfect but it works somewhat. This anti-progressive behaviour above is done by plenty of hardware companies and it's the reason lots of hardware doesn't work or operates badly in Linux.

Horrible ideas are horrible. :(

what a world we made ourselves... it's as if we don't want to progress....