Patent issues with automatic codec installation

Chris Jones chrisjones at
Wed Dec 5 00:03:29 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-12-04 at 08:20 -0400, Cody A.W. Somerville wrote:
> Right and thats what we do but GNU/Linux isn't about breaking the law.
> On Dec 4, 2007 5:47 AM, Chris Jones <chrisjones at> wrote: 
>         I wasn't saying that paying Fluendo is silly etc. If people
>         wish to
>         follow that path, that's great. 
>         I was simply stating that I think that something as simple as
>         audio/video codecs shouldn't have to come to this. It's
>         insane!! ;-)
>         The whole point of gnu/linux is to create a free and open
>         source
>         environment.
>         And it seems that paying for simple codecs is going against
>         what gnu
>         linux stands for.
>         --
>         Chris Jones <chrisjones at>
> -- 

Yes, but I think you're missing the whole point that I'm making.

If laws pressure linux users into setting up a pay-for-codec system,
then it's completely wrong.
Remember when DeCSS was first released? Sure, the laws were there
telling tux users that using a simple css script to simply watch a css
encrypted DVD was 'illegal'. But users kept doing it anyway and it has
now become accepted as a simple decryption script that is required for
watching DVDs.
Sure, Ubuntu cannot pre-install this by default as it could still be
"illegal" in some countries. But by warning the user before they install
the script/codecs that they ,ay be breaking a law in X country,
Canonical are covering themselves as it's up to the users discretion
whether to install it or not.

My point... the codec issue(s) we are talking about is no different. And
it seems that the laws are happy if we pay for a codec (depending of
course on what country we're talking about here) it's fine.
But if you source it for free, that's viewed as wrong.
C'mon mate, seriously, do you see something stupid going on here?


Chris Jones <chrisjones at>

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