Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    70

    Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Hello. Over the past few months, I've been researching the legality of using some software, mainly audio/video codecs, in Linux in the United States. It looks like here in the US we enjoy one of the WORST patent law situations on Earth. I eagerly await serious reform as more and more people realize how ridiculous software/algorithm patents really are.

    Yet, in the meantime, I feel it's important to be equipped with some knowledge of how to legally navigate these messy waters. My main question is does anybody know where I can find some kind of straightforward outline for how to keep an Ubuntu installation legally suitable for, say, a work or non-profit environment in the US? Is there a clear-cut way to know which packages are safe and which are legally iffy? Thanks a bunch for any insights.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Beans
    454
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    There used to be the option of installing Gobuntu, which was all the goodness of Ubuntu but only the Free (as in Speech) bits.

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobuntu I understand that it is possible to choose only Free software when installing Ubuntu. The article also mentions gNewSense as an alternative.
    Last edited by arubislander; August 3rd, 2011 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Googled some more info.
    Never upgrade your working system to the newest release without thorough testing on the actual hardware you will be running it on.
    Never perform a system update in a live session
    Installed Ubuntu Touch 1.0 on my Nexus 7. And loving it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    70

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Thanks for the reply. See, the only problem with that is I'm looking for more than just totally free software. I'm interested in software that functions acceptably within the US legal framework. An good example of what I'm trying to stay away from is VLC. VLC is a great program, totally free and open-source. The problem is, in the US, it's a downright patent NIGHTMARE.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Beans
    403

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    A default Ubuntu install should be legal in the US. I would either avoid installing any additional audio/video packages or purchase the codecs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, England
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    It does not matter if the software is open or closed source, is it legal to use it? And are you using it legally?

    I do not think that Canonical, the distributors of Ubuntu would put any program in the Ubuntu Software Centre that was illegal to download, install and use.

    I am legally using a closed source video adapter driver and I can listen to music and watch videos by using legally provided codecs.

    Illegality enters in if I download and play music and video and I install programs that I do not have the legal right to use.

    If you are worried about this, then install Ubuntu without ticking the box that tells the install process to install proprietary codecs.

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    70

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    I do not think that Canonical, the distributors of Ubuntu would put any program in the Ubuntu Software Centre that was illegal to download, install and use.
    Unfortunately, there are PLENTY of packages in the Software Center that are illegal to use in the United States. That doesn't mean they are in any way inherently faulty, shady, or illegal, they're just no-go in countries that allow software/algorithm patents (e.g., the US).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    70

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilGil View Post
    A default Ubuntu install should be legal in the US. I would either avoid installing any additional audio/video packages or purchase the codecs.
    This is what I'm thinking as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Beans
    1,326
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    You could look at Linux Mint - based on Ubuntu. In their download choices they include a version...

    "A version which fits on a CD, without multimedia support and extra applications. For magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses."

    http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Beans
    403

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by Megaptera View Post
    You could look at Linux Mint - based on Ubuntu. In their download choices they include a version...
    Once you strip out the encumbered codecs from Mint the multimedia functionality is much the same as a standard Ubuntu install. It would give the OP some certainty he was compliant, however.
    Last edited by PhilGil; August 3rd, 2011 at 08:21 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    70

    Re: Making Ubuntu safe for work in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by Megaptera View Post
    You could look at Linux Mint - based on Ubuntu. In their download choices they include a version...

    "A version which fits on a CD, without multimedia support and extra applications. For magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses."

    http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
    Wow, that is great. Thanks for the link.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •