Restricted modules in Ubuntu

Robert Holtzman holtzm at
Wed Jan 14 22:38:01 UTC 2009

On Wed, 14 Jan 2009, Ray Parrish wrote:

>>> I am not American; I am not in America; I never plan to live in
>>> America. Nice place for a holiday, wouldn't want to live there. Yet as
>>> far as I know, I have to jump through hoops installing this stuff
>>> because they can't be included by /United States/ laws. These do not
>>> apply to me.
>> US law has nothing to do with this. As far as I can see, many of the
>> packages in ubuntu-restricted-extras are perfectly fine to use in the
>> US. Obvious examples from your original post are flash and java.
>> These packages are not installed by default because they are not free
>> software. Excluding non-free software by default is a choice that
>> Ubuntu has made of its own accord, not because of legal restrictions.
>> I gather from what you've said in your post that you may disagree with
>> that choice, and if so, you probably want to run a different operating
>> system. But blaming it on US law is misplaced.
> So... if flash and java aren't free, when do I have to pay for them? I'm
> using both on my Ubuntu install, and so far no one has asked me for any
> money. 8-)

Read up on the open source philosophy, especially the difference between 
free as in free lunch and free as in free speech.

Holtzman's Dictum:
The bestowal of an academic degree in any discipline does not necessarily
mean the recipient knows his/her ass from a hole in the ground.

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