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View Full Version : Ubuntu non-free version with patent licenses (mp3/dvd/fonts/java/ms codecs)



queenorych
October 24th, 2005, 03:55 PM
Call me crazy, but I would love to pay $5 or whatever and get ubuntu with mp3/dvd/apple true type fonts/ms codecs/java/nvidia/ndiswrappers/etc. Just a distribution that pays the patent owners licensing fees and distributes a non-crippled distribution.

Why isn't this done? Don't point me to linspire or xanderos, I just want the licenses, not a broken debian distriubtion. Don't tell me it would be too costly, 75 cents for an mp3 license eh?

SlugO
October 24th, 2005, 03:58 PM
I guess the maint point is that Ubuntu is and will always be completely free (as in both speech and beer).

It would probably also be harder to distribute Ubuntu to so many people if you also have to get them to pay for it.

Brunellus
October 24th, 2005, 04:00 PM
I have a great suspicion that this will be what ImpiLinux will become.

ssam
October 24th, 2005, 04:01 PM
you are very welcome to make it.

you may have to change the name to avoid trademark issues.

you would only need to recompile a few packages, and add a few, not to much of a job.

sam

Master Shake
October 24th, 2005, 04:15 PM
If it were up to me, I'd create an add-on for-pay CD with the codecs / drivers, that way the OS stays free.

Kvark
October 24th, 2005, 04:44 PM
This isn't an Ubuntu specific problem. Someone should sell a cross distro "Multimedia for Linux CD" or whatever it would be called. Maybe transgaming could do it, they seem to have good hand with non free stuff.

asimon
October 24th, 2005, 05:23 PM
Such a distribution wouldn't deserve the name distribution. Most of the lisences would be per computer or per users. You no longer will be able to copy it freely or install it on as many computers like you want.

So yes, better as an add-on. And good luck finding enough people who pay for it when they can download the needed packages for free.

brentoboy
October 24th, 2005, 05:34 PM
Master_shake is on to something here.

You would need to have an ubuntu-er compile the stuff, and make a nice deb for it so that it would have binary compatiblity with ubuntu, and then you would have to throw it CD and add the CD to the sources list. One CD could have the extra packs for all three supported ubuntu platforms, and all of the supported kernels if needed.

And when dapper comes out, all existing customers would have to pay for is the CD, becuase you own licenses to the technology already.

Then, those who bought the CD (at the ubuntu store - if possible) would get an "ubuntu compatible" cd with licensed extras. It could even kick back a dollar of the cost to the ubuntu foundation - just to be supportive.

I want all the "pay" stuff, but I dont want to pirate anything or use something against it's legal restrictions. If I wanted to break the law in order to use my PC to its fullest, I'd have stayed with windoze (well, no I wouldnt, but you get the idea)

poofyhairguy
October 24th, 2005, 07:55 PM
Call me crazy, but I would love to pay $5 or whatever and get ubuntu with mp3/dvd/apple true type fonts/ms codecs/java/nvidia/ndiswrappers/etc. Just a distribution that pays the patent owners licensing fees and distributes a non-crippled distribution.

Why isn't this done?

Because no one has done it. Its that simple. Mark made Ubuntu to show off the power of open source and to help establishments like schools. He is not going to bolt something on to Ubuntu that is restricted just to make a few users happy. He is not in it to make money so that not a concern. Instead he bought another distro that he will base on Ubuntu that will have this stuff.

But if anyone wants a way to make a little money, here is how. Set up a distro with all this stuff added, and maybe add the CDs of the Universe for dial up people. Money to be made!

Plus, part of me thinks that some of those things you can't even buy the rights to (why would MS allow a Linux distro to add the media codecs that MS is trying to use to lock people into the Windows platform?)

az
October 24th, 2005, 08:34 PM
Linspire do it. They licence all of the available codecs. They could make a little repository for ubuntu users and charge a few bucks for access to it....

aysiu
October 24th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Why isn't this done? Don't point me to linspire or xanderos, I just want the licenses, not a broken debian distriubtion. Don't tell me it would be too costly, 75 cents for an mp3 license eh? Xandros isn't a broken Debian distribution--Linspire is. You can use Mepis or Blag, though. Those are cost-free but include a lot of the proprietary stuff you want.

If you really want to stay with Ubuntu (which is a "broken" Debian distribution of sorts--much moreso than Xandros or Mepis), instead of paying $5, search around these forums. There are a lot of scripts and other things that will install all the codecs for you.

asimon
October 24th, 2005, 08:47 PM
I just found some interesting comments about legal DVD play on the opensuse mailing list from the Novell/SUSE Product Manager Consumer Products Dr. Sommer which may be interesting in this thread:



Not much: You need only:

- convince all developers of the xine project (>30) that they change the
xine license from GPL to LGPL or BSD (use alternatively the mplayer or
the ogle project or write one from scratch)) to be able to link against
the proprietary CSS stuff
- sign a contract with the DVD CCA to get the official CSS technology
- pay 19,000 USD a year to DVD CCA
- implement the CSS technology into xine
- talk to all major graphics card vendors and convince them to support
Linux and provide interfaces for the use of macrovision in Linuxplayers
- implement it into the player
- sign a contract with Dolby for decoding dolby 2 channel and/or
6 channel sound
- pay approx. 0.8 - 1.50 USD per sold copy of the program to Dolby
(depends on sound quality and the number of sold copies)
- sign a contract with MPEGLA for decoding mpeg2 video format
- pay 2.50 USD per sold copy to MPEGLA (independent from numbers)


That's all, let's begin!

Regarding Linspire he had also a comment:


> And that is too hard for Novell? But Linspire can handle it:
>
> http://www.linspire.com/lindows_products_details.php?product_id=11804
>
> The download of that "app" is just 0.04MB in size. And it is declared as
> "closed source". So, it might be just the library.

Only one comment: Take a look at Linspire and see which application they
use to play DVD and try also to find out how they descramble CSS and you
will have many more questions than answers at the end.


So other distribution maker have their thoughts about these problems too. It seems just to be not very easy to implement corrently in a legal way...

BWF89
October 24th, 2005, 08:53 PM
Linspire do it. They licence all of the available codecs. They could make a little repository for ubuntu users and charge a few bucks for access to it....
I second that.

zenwhen
October 24th, 2005, 10:21 PM
I really don't want our devs to spend their time rewarding people who publish software under restrictive licenses, myself.

brentoboy
October 24th, 2005, 10:24 PM
I really don't want our devs to spend their time rewarding people who publish software under restrictive licenses, myself.

I would have used different wording, but - ditto

az
October 25th, 2005, 02:54 PM
I really don't want our devs to spend their time rewarding people who publish software under restrictive licenses, myself.

They don't. That's why I use Ubuntu. It is one more step towards being able to buy ogg music files online and playing them on *any* media player you buy off the shelf.

Brunellus
October 25th, 2005, 03:04 PM
They don't. That's why I use Ubuntu. It is one more step towards being able to buy ogg music files online and playing them on *any* media player you buy off the shelf.
well, it would be if there were wider adoption of ogg through ubuntu.

Incidentally, I have been noting with some concern that the number of high-capacity portable media players that support the ogg codec seems to be dwindling.

Rio and the Karma are no more.

iRiver no longer lists the H300 series on its website. Its ogg capable players are relatively low-capacity flash-based players (512 MB, 1 GB); its present flagship hard-drive based player, the H10, is mp3 and wma only, as far as I can see.

Even Neuros don't seem to be offering their (relatively clunky) hdd-based, ogg-capable player anymore.

I love the ogg codec; I love the efficiency and quality and freedom of it. But I worry sometimes that when my (excellent!) iRiver H340 wears out in about a year or two, I might not have a device to play my rapidly-growing ogg collections on.

nocturn
October 25th, 2005, 03:04 PM
Call me crazy, but I would love to pay $5 or whatever and get ubuntu with mp3/dvd/apple true type fonts/ms codecs/java/nvidia/ndiswrappers/etc. Just a distribution that pays the patent owners licensing fees and distributes a non-crippled distribution.


Yes, 75 cents for the MP3 licence, what do you estimate that the chance is that Microsoft will license WMV/WMA formats to a Linux distro? What would they cost?

Sun Java can be freely distributed, BUT you may not distribute any alternatives (like GJC). Which makes it incompatible with Ubuntu's philosophy.

Ubuntu is a Free Linux distribution, it is the foundation on which it is built, not something that will be thrown overboard lightly.

nocturn
October 25th, 2005, 03:09 PM
I just found some interesting comments about legal DVD play on the opensuse mailing list from the Novell/SUSE Product Manager Consumer Products Dr. Sommer which may be interesting in this thread:


Regarding Linspire he had also a comment:


So other distribution maker have their thoughts about these problems too. It seems just to be not very easy to implement corrently in a legal way...

A very good post.

Anyone care to respond to how Linspire got this done?

bionnaki
October 25th, 2005, 07:05 PM
well, it would be if there were wider adoption of ogg through ubuntu.

Incidentally, I have been noting with some concern that the number of high-capacity portable media players that support the ogg codec seems to be dwindling.

Rio and the Karma are no more.

iRiver no longer lists the H300 series on its website. Its ogg capable players are relatively low-capacity flash-based players (512 MB, 1 GB); its present flagship hard-drive based player, the H10, is mp3 and wma only, as far as I can see.

Even Neuros don't seem to be offering their (relatively clunky) hdd-based, ogg-capable player anymore.

I love the ogg codec; I love the efficiency and quality and freedom of it. But I worry sometimes that when my (excellent!) iRiver H340 wears out in about a year or two, I might not have a device to play my rapidly-growing ogg collections on.


I also have an h340. I love it...but have you seen this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009Q4UBK/103-8746905-7499053?v=glance&n=541966&n=507846&s=pc&v=glance


Plays MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, ASF, FLAC, WAV, JPEG, and MPEG-4 (video) playback

dmb
October 25th, 2005, 07:16 PM
How about one of us (even me) just create a script that downloads and installs all the proprietary/unlicensed stuff. Thats what most of us do anyway.

brentoboy
October 25th, 2005, 07:45 PM
A very good post.

Anyone care to respond to how Linspire got this done?

Lindows was renamed linspire when they and Microsoft did a little hand shake in the background. "Change your name, and we'll give you some bucks, and sign some agreements not to prosecute you...."

Ms isnt worried about linspire, because it is a pay distro. They know that pay distros will never gather enough momentum to give them a problem.

brentoboy
October 25th, 2005, 07:47 PM
How about one of us (even me) just create a script that downloads and installs all the proprietary/unlicensed stuff. Thats what most of us do anyway.

If I was going to use software illegally, Id still be running adobe photoshop on my xp box. :)

The Linux movement isnt just about being free, it is about being legal at the same time.

earobinson
October 25th, 2005, 08:02 PM
What would be even better than all this lets pay for dvd and mp3 codecs etc is if linux came up with even better free codecs and the worled used them

but till then I love the idea of a pay cd

Malphas
October 25th, 2005, 08:12 PM
If I was going to use software illegally, Id still be running adobe photoshop on my xp box. :)

The Linux movement isnt just about being free, it is about being legal at the same time.
Interestingly, the US is not actually the entire universe. Places may well exist where US/EU copyright laws do not apply.

az
October 25th, 2005, 09:33 PM
How about one of us (even me) just create a script that downloads and installs all the proprietary/unlicensed stuff. Thats what most of us do anyway.

Well let's say that there are a few libraries that want to install a linux distribution for internet access. They list as their needs the ability to play proprietary multimedia formats.

You could not download the linux equivalents because, although they work, they are unlicenced.



What would be even better than all this lets pay for dvd and mp3 codecs etc is if linux came up with even better free codecs and the worled used them

but till then I love the idea of a pay cd.

ffmpeg (MPEG decoder) is GPL'ed code. Actually, so is lame (the mp3 encoder) The problem here is not the code, but the *format* which is patented.

dmb
October 25th, 2005, 11:43 PM
Isn't the patent set to expire soon? If so, does that mean we can use mp3s preinstalled again?

benplaut
October 26th, 2005, 03:54 AM
Isn't the patent set to expire soon? If so, does that mean we can use mp3s preinstalled again?

good point... that would be great, if possible :p

mstlyevil
October 26th, 2005, 04:59 AM
All some developer would have to do is create a pay for Linux media player with the codecs already included in the price and make versions compatible with the major distributions. They could also make a generic debian and rpm based version for those who have less well known distros. I would buy such a media player myself because of the risk I am now taking getting these codecs on my own. I would prefer to not have to break any laws to play my music or watch dvd's on my pc. The only thing that probally keeps me from worrying about it right now is I have already purchased these codecs for my windows partition when I paid for Windows and bought my dvd playing software. As far as mstcorefonts go, you can download and use them for your personal use legally on Linux. You can also download and legally use java for your personal use already. It is no problem for me to go and get those two things myself if it keeps my operating system free.

mstlyevil
October 26th, 2005, 05:16 AM
Interestingly, the US is not actually the entire universe. Places may well exist where US/EU copyright laws do not apply.

Ubuntu and other major distributions have to build their OS's in such a way to comply with laws in all countries to avoid law suits. If Ubuntu had to use their money for legal battles they would no longer be able to offer their OS for free. Therefore US/EU copyright laws affect all countries because most Linux distributors have to make their OS in a generic manner to keep cost down and keep all governments off their backs.

Malphas
October 26th, 2005, 05:53 AM
Ubuntu and other major distributions have to build their OS's in such a way to comply with laws in all countries to avoid law suits. If Ubuntu had to use their money for legal battles they would no longer be able to offer their OS for free. Therefore US/EU copyright laws affect all countries because most Linux distributors have to make their OS in a generic manner to keep cost down and keep all governments off their backs.
I'm aware of that. That doesn't relate to what brentoboy was reffering to though ("a script that downloads and installs all the proprietary/unlicensed stuff").