Ubuntu loses its virginity, turns commercial

Neil Coetzer ncoetzer at halsteds.co.zw
Thu Sep 25 09:45:36 BST 2008

Hi Ronald,

Thanks for the info. Personally I don't really see the problem. The free
codecs are still available but users have the option of paying if they
want to make it legal. Ubuntu as we know and use it hasn't changed, as I
understand it, so I don't really think it damages the spirit of Ubuntu
at all.... they're just trying to do the right thing. The problem is not
with Canonical or Ubuntu... the problem is with the fact that such
widely used codecs are proprietary. That is what needs to change.


On Thu, 2008-09-25 at 10:16 +0200, ronald munjoma wrote:

> Hello,
> 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 menu)
> <quote>
> 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
> </quote>
> 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?:
> <quote>
> 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.
> </quote>
> Neil: Like I indicated above I havent seen the CSZ newsletter and
> article, but one thing for sure Canonical issued the statement here:
> http://blog.canonical.com/?p=37
> which have been quoted and analyzed here:
> http://ostatic.com/173388-blog/canonical-opens-codec-sales-and-potential-can-of-worms#rss
> http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20762/1090/1/1/
> 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.
>         Ganyani
> -- 
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