Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Oct 2006 20:50 UTC, submitted by Stuart Langridge
Linux In the latest episode of LugRadio, Eric S. Raymond suggests that the Linux community need to start integrating more proprietary software in order to get market share. ESR points to proprietary multimedia codecs as an example of somewhere where Linux distributions should step away from free-software rhetoric in order to get more users, with the aim of bringing those users back to open source later on and to gain more influence with manufacturers and music/movie/media distributors to make Linux a properly supported platform.
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Focus on the message
by Marciano on Mon 23rd Oct 2006 21:50 UTC
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Let's forget about the messenger and think about the message for a second.

1: the world would be a better place if all codecs could be FOSS, if there was no DRM, if all graphics cards came with a FOSS driver and/or full specs that allow one to be created, if software patents either did not exist, etc. etc. etc.

2: It would be cool if I could play my iTunes/WMV/??? songs, watch DVDs, use my 3D hardware to its fullest, enjoy Cleartype-like font rendering, have reliable sleep/hibernation on my laptop, etc. etc. under Linux, legally.

We can't have both 1 and 2. And, different, reasonable people can pick different trade-offs on the imaginary line between 1 and 2.

What I think everybody must understand though is that the best guy/gal to fight for #1 may not be your friendly distro provider.

In fact, there's an argument to be made for why licensing restricted formats/signing NDAs/etc. may be the quickest way to get to #1. An improved end-user experience leads to wider adoption of Linux and other "alternative" OSs and platforms, which leads to a heightened perception of the advantages of "freeness", which potentially leads to much broader and more vocal support for unencumbered formats, etc. etc.

Just my 5pm $.0000002 worth...

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