making deals with M$

Chandru at
Mon Jun 9 17:15:40 UTC 2008

This is what I call very good openness.  Hope this continues and a fix to
bug #1 is found soon.  :)

On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 10:36 PM, Mark Shuttleworth <mark at> wrote:

>  Mark Fink wrote:
> I just read this article:
> I hope this is wrong or I will have to stop using ubuntu and find
> another distro to use. Such a shame...
>  Mark, Remco
> There is (again) absolutely no truth to the rumour that Canonical has done
> a deal with Microsoft for access to codecs - either in return for money, or
> for some other quid-pro-quo.
> The recently-announced netbook remix is a prototype of the sort of platform
> that Canonical is working on with OEM's. Those OEM's almost always want to
> make sure that media is *legally* playable by the users who purchase their
> devices, and Canonical will gladly work with companies like Real Media or
> Fluendo to make sure that is possible. If you are an OEM you should be able
> to ship machines based on Ubuntu and not break the law, and if you are an
> individual user you should be able to purchase media codecs and not break
> the law. Those codecs include things like Flash, MP3-4, WMV, QuickTime and
> so on.
> That said, I will defend (again) the importance of being willing to work
> with Microsoft, under reasonable and transparent conditions, to further
> goals that we share, if the opportunity arises.
> I'm entirely against the idea that any company is "untouchable" - we have
> our values, they have theirs, and it's important to remember that we might
> actually have many things in common. For example, we both have an interest
> in making sure that countries have open and competitive internet access,
> because both Ubuntu and Windows depend on having fast internet access for
> updates. We might well work together to encourage good telecommunications
> policy. To reject that sort of collaboration is, in my mind, just as
> self-defeating as it was for Microsoft to call the GPL "a cancer". The
> reality is that the world is a heterogenous place, and Windows and Linux are
> both real forces that need to be accommodated. That does not mean we need to
> sell out on fundamental principles, as we think some distributions have
> done, but it does mean we need to stay open to the possibility of
> collaboration on terms that we are comfortable with. It's not working with
> Microsoft that would be wrong, it's working with Microsoft in a way that
> undermines free software. And Canonical has not and will not do that.
> There is nothing new in what is being done with the netbook remix. It is
> not an edition of Ubuntu. It is not even a real "finished product" - what
> you have are a set of packages that can be used together with Ubuntu to make
> the starting point of an image for an OEM. There is no intentions to put
> proprietary codecs into standard Ubuntu - that would be against our stated
> principles. You are welcome to download and modify any of the pieces
> Canonical has put together for that remix. The remix is more of a statement
> of intent to the OEM industry - that there is an easy to use, classy,
> effective starting point for their devices that is intrinsically Ubuntu
> while still being friendly for "newbie netbook users".
> OEM's have always - as long as I have been around - wanted to help users
> with the codec problem. Dell very kindly underwrites the cost of DVD
> playback for people who purchase a machine from them with Ubuntu
> pre-installed, using legal codecs and players. You might well question the
> wisdom of the law that makes it necessary for that to be proprietary, but I
> think Dell deserves praise and thanks for their willingness to help their
> customers make DVD playback work. The more people are using Linux, the more
> awareness there is of free software issues, the more likely it is that laws
> are not written which make it impossible to do things in a free software
> way. I'm proud to be part of the process of bringing free software to a
> wider audience, and don't believe that working with OEM's to make it
> possible for products - or end users - of Ubuntu to achieve their goals
> legally is a setback in that regard.
> While I appreciate the vigilance of folks who have expressed concerns on
> this thread, and understand that the role of Canonical within Ubuntu is such
> that we *must* have constant scrutiny of Canonical's decisions by the
> broader community, I would ask that this scrutiny itself be held to a high
> standard. This rumour and thread sprung up with no evidence of a breach of
> trust on the part of Canonical, and escalated into ad hominem attacks that
> are not in keeping with the Ubuntu code of conduct. I encourage people to
> ask questions of their leaders in the community, but not to slander them
> without evidence.
> Mark
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Chandra Sekar.S

e-mail: at

We choose the brand of our Mobile Phone, Motorbike, Car, Shirt, Shoe, Bread,
etc. Then why not the brand of our OS too?

Pre-loading and forcing Vista on new laptops kills consumers' choice. Fight
for choice of OS just as there is for the Hard Disk capacity in new laptops.
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