Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Aug 2007 21:09 UTC
Linspire "Freespire, the free as in beer version of the Linspire Linux distribution, this month released Freespire 2.0, the first version of the operating system based on the popular Ubuntu distribution, and the first to contain proprietary codecs and drivers. Despite its attractive appearance, it left me with mixed feelings."
Thread beginning with comment 264698
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
The free proprietary codecs
by sb56637 on Tue 21st Aug 2007 01:58 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Ok, here's a question for somebody who lives in the USA who is actually worried about not being in legal jeopardy from patent laws...

The w32codecs are technically illegal in the USA. At least, if I ran a business, I would be afraid to have w32codecs installed on my workstations. But here comes Linspire offering legal playback of these files for free. In other words, they have apparently paid Microsoft and probably Apple for the rights to decode these file types like Windows Media and Quicktime. And apparently 1 user or 1,000,000 users can take advantage of this, whoever wants to download it for free now has the legal right, and the patent holders were paid their royalties. So if I download or install Freespire, do I now have the right to install w32codecs on my Debian or Gentoo box, since I am now a legal user of those patented formats?

Reply Score: 3

RE: The free proprietary codecs
by nivanson on Tue 21st Aug 2007 04:59 in reply to "The free proprietary codecs"
nivanson Member since:
2006-07-13

As Jonathan Riddel responded to someone pretty much asking the same question. However, you did not really ask the question, you merely made a statement.

http://lwn.net/Articles/244873/

Microsoft licences codecs to them at no cost as part of the settlement
for Lindows changing their name to Linspire.

Reply Parent Score: 1