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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Comment by gnufreex
by gnufreex on Thu 6th May 2010 23:33 UTC
gnufreex
Member since:
2010-05-06

Um... not entirely true. GPLv2 and v3 are same in that regard. GPL does not forbid you to distribute proprietary programs in with distributions; lots of distributors did that. If forbids you to add proprietary extensions to the GPL'd Program.

Distribution is counted as "Aggregate Work" not the "Program". Firefox is the "Program".

Main reason why Canonical (and also Mozilla) does not distribute non-free software is good ethics and ideology. As well as the technical reasons: if you do not have source, you can not fix bugs.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by gnufreex
by mtzmtulivu on Fri 7th May 2010 00:06 in reply to "Comment by gnufreex"
mtzmtulivu Member since:
2006-11-14

ok ..lets say this "aggregate work" is pressed on a cd made up of two components. GPL component and a proprietary component.

GPL component allows the cd to be (re)distributed. Proprietary component does not allow it. In effect the cd can then no longer be (re)distributed.

Let just say a GPL code is pressed on a cd and a completely unrelated proprietary code is also pressed on the same cd. The effective (re)distributivity of the cd will fall on the more restrictive license(the proprietary one) and GPL does not allow any further restrictions to be added, right?

can someone just take one of these images, make copies and start distributing them to anybody who cares to have one? i think not.

If the aggregate work can not be (re)distributed, the aggregate work violates the terms of GPL(me think).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by gnufreex
by lemur2 on Fri 7th May 2010 02:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by gnufreex"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

In effect the cd can then no longer be (re)distributed. Let just say a GPL code is pressed on a cd and a completely unrelated proprietary code is also pressed on the same cd. The effective (re)distributivity of the cd will fall on the more restrictive license(the proprietary one) and GPL does not allow any further restrictions to be added, right?can someone just take one of these images, make copies and start distributing them to anybody who cares to have one? i think not. If the aggregate work can not be (re)distributed, the aggregate work violates the terms of GPL(me think).


The aggregate (the cd) is not distributed under the GPL. Some of the packages on the CD are distributed under the GPL. Distribution under the GPL requires that the GPL components are re-distributable. They are.

Most distributions even provide users with a tool to re-master CDs for the purposes of re-distribution. This is how a whole batch of spin-off Linux distributions are "born".

Here is an example of a fairly popular spin-off re-distribution:
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

and here is an example of an obscure spin-off re-distribution:
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=deft

These are both examples of re-distribution of Ubuntu/Debian.

Edited 2010-05-07 02:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by gnufreex
by nt_jerkface on Fri 7th May 2010 03:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by gnufreex"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

You can distribute proprietary and GPL software on the same disc as long as they are separate works.

A GPL program can even have proprietary plug-ins as long as the main program is just calling a binary.

Reply Parent Score: 2