Is Ubuntu commited to free software?

Travis Beaty twbeaty at
Wed Jun 9 22:22:20 UTC 2010

Hi PB.

>From what I understand, there were patent issues with the mp3 format,
which is why a lot of the distros which I've dealt with outright refused
to play it, or made you jump through hurdles to get it to happen.  There
is of course Ogg format -- which is a fine format!  Unless, you have an
entire CD collection which you've already ripped to MP3 format.  A lot
of times, the responses I got when asking about it went along the lines
of "mp3 is evil.  By not supporting it, we are supporting open source
solutions, a.k.a. sticking it to the man."  Or, that they were
protecting the distro from being sued later on, as the tinfoil hats told
them someone was going to pop the patent on them and let them have it.

Again, I can understand the fear of patent war ... we've seen a bit of
that recently.  But it returns to the fact that the mainstream user will
see it in black and white terms ... works in Windows, broke in Linux.
They could care less about the politics behind it.  It's just one
example of why I start twitching when people want to make it harder for
me to have Linux just work.

- Travis.

On Wed, 2010-06-09 at 17:07 -0500, Guthro wrote:

> Travis,
> >I understand that for many, "wouldn't play mp3s" is considered a
> >feature, not a bug. 
> Could you explain why anyone thinks that? hanks.
> PB

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