Ubuntu loses its virginity, turns commercial
simbiso at gmail.com
Thu Sep 25 09:16:10 BST 2008
I am not subscribed to the newsletter (I will soon), will you please forward
me a copy.
Here is a generalised response, (I would have loved to read the other
article refered to).
Ubuntu Linux is Free as in Free Speech (the four Freedoms as stated by the
Free Software Foundation [reads Richard Stallman] and Free Beer (Gratis, for
no price). Mark and Canonical have clearly stated that Ubuntu will always
remain Free and so far they have upheld their promise.
Here is how I interpret the article;
You might be aware that the Ubuntu distribution tries by all means to use
Free Software (and avoid the inclusion of proprietary software as part of
the distribution). However one can install restricted software and other
third party software. The restricted and other third party software usually
comprise of proprietary drivers and multimedia codecs. There are work
arounds for most of the restricted software, for example my Aspire 5315
wireless card, makes use of proprietary drivers, I was able to enable and
use it by using Ndiswrapper (Ndiswrapper made it possible for me to download
and use Windows drivers on the Ubuntu box). I have also installed most of
the codecs by installing the Ubuntu Restricted Extras (from the Add/Remove
To be clear, it is certainly possible to get proprietary multimedia codecs
and DVD playback capabilities running in Linux, free of charge. It's
actually fairly simple. And depending on the codec, or your country of
residence, it could also be illegal
You might also want to know that Fluendo does also offer free (as in Free
Beer) codecs to play mp3 file formats.
Why the move?:
Canonical aren't able to legally redistribute these codecs. So instead,
they've opted to open an area in the storefront that makes downloading and
installing purchased codecs work similarly to installing with Synaptic.
They've made it so that a complete reinstall of a system won't require
another codec purchase. They've made the best out of the situation.
Neil: Like I indicated above I havent seen the CSZ newsletter and article,
but one thing for sure Canonical issued the statement here:
which have been quoted and analyzed here:
Personally I strongly feel that this move hurts the spirit of Ubuntu.
On 25/09/2008, Ganyani Khosa Webmail <khosag at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I received my copy today of the abovementioned newsletter. Our article
> claims UBUNTU is free and another article in the same claims otherwise
> quoting http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20762/1090/ This does not
> reflect a good picture of what we are trying to achieve.
> We also need to pay close attention to the ICT Bill being proposed and
> ensure that it includes our interests. Lets not let it pass without our due
> attention. These are the policy issues I said I have keen interest. I will
> follow this and update team members.
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