Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th May 2010 21:48 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical has explained why it has licensed H264. As it turns out, the license does not cover the distribution as a whole - since Ubuntu is entirely Free software, the license cannot be included. Canonical has licensed H264 so that it can offer it as an option to OEMs, just as it does with Flash, Fluendo, and some others. Since this is just an option for OEMs, it does not mean that every pre-installed Ubuntu system comes with the H264 license - it depends on whether or not your OEM decided to include it (good luck finding that out). And people actually promote this complicated spaghetti licensing situation.
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RE[3]: Comment by emilsedgh
by darknexus on Fri 7th May 2010 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh"
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Users dont need any 'tweaking' to get the thing working. Ubuntu has done a very nice job of providing a simple 'yes/no' dialog to make it work easily without any tweak.

Wrong. Answering yes will install the unlicensed versions of these codecs. Now, personally, I couldn't give less of a crap, but if you're doing business in the US and other places where software patents exist then you'd better care and put a licensed codec on your systems less the patent holders go after you, your descendants, your customers, and anyone else who might have even heard of you. MPEG-LA has already said they can do this.

Also, im talking about the fact that this is a very sensible time on the theora and h264 issue. Companies like Canonical, Red Hat, Mozilla and such are expected to take some FOSS'ish side. Products they are selling is the result of uncountable work from community members and volunteers. They cant do whatever they want like their propertiary competeitors; because their competeitors have paid for every piece of work on their products.

Uh, hello? It's free software. They can do whatever the hell they want with it so long as they don't violate any of the foss licenses of the software they package. Canonical is not violating any licenses here, and they've outright stated that they want to make a Linux that just works. Well, playing H.264 and other proprietary video formats qualifies as "just works", and in the US you can't blithely ignore threats from organizations like the MPEG-LA if you're in business. They can and they will ring you for all you're worth if you do and get caught.

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