Idea: Restricted Formats in Examples?

Laurent moky.math at
Sat Feb 24 10:31:11 UTC 2007


> What do you guys think of this idea? Are there any legal issues related
> with shipping MP3 files with Ubuntu?

    I'll take a rather ideological position --- which is thus 
discussable from a pragmatic point of view. I think that Linux users 
must be clear on a point : closed formats intrinsically does not work on 
free softwares. It is impossible to use MSN, wma, aac or even a .doc 
file with Linux. What is possible is to use the parts of the formats 
which were reverse-ingeneered or for which a (illegal ?) crack exists. 
These are not sustainable solutions.
    The ability of Ubuntu to manage these formats is no more than a 
trick to avoid loss of data during the transition Windows --> Ubuntu.

    We should no lie to people who are interested in Ubuntu. They must 
not believe that Ubuntu supports closed formats an that there are no 
problems. There are problems with closed formats; its a fate.

    Ok. That's my RMS-ideologic point of view. Now to be pragmatic, I 
recognize that the worste weakness of Ubuntu is its bug number one. If 
Linux gains market shares, I think that problems of closed formats will 
automatically dissapear. And, in order to gain market share, we have to 
say to people that they usual files are supported under Ubuntu ...
    So I just fear to make false promises to Linux-noob. If he thinks 
that closed formats are supported, Ubuntu will be a deception. If he 
thinks that closed formats are not supported, then he will have a good 
surprise !

   I have no true answers...


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