Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 25th Oct 2006 08:41 UTC
Linux A few months ago we ran a poll about the most important non-free Linux apps. We had over 8,000 votes in that poll and we consider the results pretty interesting. Interesting enough to push Linux's market share if a distro capitalized on them?
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On the issue of CODECs ...
by MacTO on Wed 25th Oct 2006 12:02 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

Some of the fuss that I've been reading about is related to multimedia CODECs. It is important to note that many of them are either patented or trade secrets. It isn't the open source community that is restricting their use under Linux, but the people who own the IP on those CODECs. Yes, there are convoluted work-arounds to get them working. On the other hand, they may be considered illegal. That can get the Linux distributor shut-down, or worse. Which is a big part of the reason why the big ones don't include them (some the little distributions don't care as much because they have less to lose).

Even in the case of commercial software like Acrobat and Flash, which are definitely meant to run under Linux, many companies don't like it if you redistribute their product and may not like it if you downloaded their software through some sort of front-end. Again, lawyer hell. ;) So please don't blame it on the open source community.

Finally: if you choose to use a distribution like Debian, which has a social license mandating the strict adherence of free software, don't blame them if they don't have your favourite non-free application. That would be like whining about Microsoft not offering an open source version of Windows. But at least you have the choice to use a different Linux distribution, one which will suit your needs better. Microsoft does not give you that choice at all!

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