Freespire's Google ads: "What is Ubuntu Missing?"

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Tue Oct 3 15:45:19 BST 2006

> > The primary difference is that Freespire offers the OPTION to install
> > proprietary software that is 100% illegal if it were done through the
> > 'open source' model. In most jurisdictions to which members of these
> > lists belong playing DVDs without an appropriate licence is illegal.
> >
> we are in agreement here.

> > > not that it
> > > is a bad thing. I happen to disagree with it, because I prefer software
> > > to be free,
> >
> > Unfortunately most of the tempest in this particular teapot does not
> > stem from such a clearly articulated dislike of the notion of
> > proprietary software/formats (as you put forth) but, instead the
> > tempest is because of dislike of the company itself and the
> > fabrication of "facts" regarding said companies behaviour.
> >
> Of course, and that I disagree with, however I still disapprove of freespire's
> approach. They have a right to take it on, and people have a right to use it,
> but I don't like it, and not because I oppose closed source software on
> ideological grounds.

How is Freespire's approach different from Ubuntu's? They're adding
value to open source software and using that to generate income.
Canonical's business model is to provide the software for free and
support the users of that software. Linspire's is to provide the
software for free and support the users by adding software that is
LEGALLY UNAVAILABLE through free channels.

If every Tom, Dick and Harry went the free software route and
supported only free/open source software there wouldn't be an
encrypted DVD player, we wouldn't have legal (and supported)
MP3/multi-media playback, etc. Also, there wouldn't be a whole lot of
room for Canonical to support Ubuntu without ongoing cash injections
from the SABDFL.

I presume you also don't visit most internet sites because they run on
MS or Apple servers or have content created by closed source
programmes, that you don't communicate with people who use proprietary
e-mailers, or view images manipulated by Photoshop or...  ;-)

> I simply think it is better for the development of
> mankind in general if software is kept open.

I don't think mankind's 'salvation' lies in software but that's not
here nor there (It seems like we're going to "brew" ourselves out of
existence (the yeast that brews a vat of beer ends up killing itself
by its activities... we're doing a damn good job of emulating that
good ol' brewer's yeast ;-)... but that's for a different discussion)

> > > and so I prefer, in principle, the slight extra difficulty of
> > > installing any proprietary software I might use, which si very little and
> > > does not include w32codecs and nvidia-glx, but the fact remains that what
> > > you are describing is not, and cannot be said to be, a free desktop, in
> > > the free and open source software sense.
> >
> > It IS "a fully free desktop, in the free and open source software
> > sense". It seems like there is absolutely no requirement that you use
> > the so-called "non-free" components, just like there's no requirement
> > in Ubuntu that you use w32codecs, nvidia-glx, RealPlayer, etc.
> >
> and if it is supplied without them, it is free. If it is not, then it's not.

I'm thinking you and I are talking in circles ;-P


More information about the sounder mailing list