Linked by on Wed 1st Feb 2006 19:53 UTC
Novell and Ximian A demonstration of the next release of Novell's Linux for desktops drew cheers and applause Wednesday, although the final version of the software is not expected for some months. Nat Friedman, the company's vice president of Linux desktop engineering, showed Novell Linux Desktop 10 playing videos and MP3 music files, and exchanging music and photos with an iPod and a digital camera, in a keynote presentation at the Solutions Linux conference and trade show on the outskirts of Paris.
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RE[6]: Novell Shows Off
by AdamW on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 02:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Novell Shows Off"
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

And to clarify _further_ (sorry, I'm longwinded today...) the reason I say it's simplistic to say it's "illegal" to distribute an MP3-playing distro in the US is that patent law is civil law. Civil law is not like criminal law: there's no patent police who drive around arresting patent violators. The civil law exists as a way to facilitate certain civil and commercial relationships; the courts that deal with civil law are a kind of last-resort arbitration system for cases where two people or commercial entities have a dispute they can't resolve any other way. Ask absolutely any company lawyer and they'll tell you they'd far rather be able to settle a dispute with a private arrangement than with a lawsuit. A lot of people don't really appreciate this and tend to think along the lines of "OMG if you decode an MP3 in America Fraunhofer will set the FBI on you!!!"

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Novell Shows Off
by segedunum on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 09:33 in reply to "RE[6]: Novell Shows Off"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

A lot of people don't really appreciate this and tend to think along the lines of "OMG if you decode an MP3 in America Fraunhofer will set the FBI on you!!!"

That exactly describes the situation. Because lawyers and corporate people at Novell, Red Hat and other places have no backbone they think "Oh my God" and cough up for the slightest thing. I am pretty disappointed that Novell, Red Hat and Ubuntu are caving into something that has no real legal basis, and appearing to give a ridiculously general patent legal weight.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: Novell Shows Off
by pecisk on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 15:23 in reply to "RE[7]: Novell Shows Off"
pecisk Member since:
2005-10-20

You can argue how much you want, but MP3 patents and their usage policy have been very clear for years and it is clearly NOT a example of patent abuse. It is actually way how it could be used.

Owners of the patent have stated clearly that they don't indend collect money from free software projects using mp3 support. However, such posibility doesn't go away with all this unless they would wave away their rights to sue in special legal document like IBM did. I think they are not so crazy.

Linux desktop becoming more and more commercially important - however, in same time still keeping it's basic principles - comes under threat to be sued. Problem with patents is that you can sue even user. It is why Redhat/Ubuntu/etc. have avoided to use mp3 support in their distros for ages. It was simply legal swamp and distros didn't wanted to risk with law suites against them.

Fluendo and this Novell example (sad that they have doubled efforts, but maybe it is not so bad in the end) shows that companies are very serious about providing clearly legal way to play prioritary formats on Linux. And again, you can scream against heaven how much you would like to, mp3/wma/Real/Quicktime/etc. won't go away very soon. Yeah, I prefer Ogg Vorbis/Theora and FLAC, and more and more people jumps on this bandwagon. But it will take time for these formats to conquer world FF style, specially for streaming (as serious Ogg Vorbis/Theora streaming shows up only for last two years). Yes, it will happen but...

I simply favor their policy not to put burden on common crowd to find and install plugins for all current stuff. If there will be legal mp3 support, then sure lot of Real and WMA codecs will follow and it will help a lot of people to migrate to Linux and stay with it.

Reply Parent Score: 1