12.19.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

Quick Mention: How Does Dell Deliver GNU/Linux?

Posted in Dell, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu at 1:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Conservative software world and Big Media to meet Free software

Dell’s decision to ship GNU/Linux desktops was a wonderful thing. There is no doubt about it. Dell’s decision is commendable.

When Dell joined the Microsoft/Novell deal — whatever that means — questions arose. It was a bit of a mystery and it wasn’t obvious what it actually involved. All we have are lots of clues, the subsequent distribution of SUSE Linux in China, other theories, and various other pieces of information that we continue to gather as time goes by (more here). The information piles up, but there’s no clear conclusion. Everything is vague.

The latest news is that Dell will add out-of-the-box DVD playback support to its Ubuntu GNU/Linux PCs.

It has long been possible to play DVDs on Linux. However, with most Linux distributions, it is necessary to manually enable this functionality. That is because while the user may legally own both the DVD he or she is trying to play and the computer it’s being played on, in the United States, enabling open-source-based operating systems to play commercial DVDs, with their wide variety of DRM (digital rights management) schemes, is something of a legal swamp. There are legal ways around this, and presumably Dell has invested in one of them.

What is meant here by “invested”? Was there just a legal barrier, a financial barrier, or something else? After Dell’s engagement in the Novell/Microsoft deal, might we gradually see software patent tax added blindly? On the desktop, interoperability is unlikely to be a factor.

Dell never spoke about the financial relationship it has with Canonical, so it’s hard to know what money flows in whose direction. There is no transparency at all although we’ve already seen anti-competitive elements in Dell's contracts with Microsoft.

Last but not least — a reminder about mythical patents. Remember that GNU/Linux is software. There cannot be patent infringement in it (with the exception of a few countries), unless it’s combined or embedded in some device. Even DMCA laws are hard to find around the world.

No Patents in Linux

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

11 Comments

  1. Jeff Waugh said,

    December 19, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Gravatar

    If you were capable of informed analysis and research, you’d find that they were using LinDVD, a fully licensed proprietary DVD player, and that there are no patent encumbrances related to licensed decryption of DVD content (playing the actual MPEG content certainly has encumbrances, but those are completely unrelated to Microsoft).

    Again, we see more negativity and misguided conspiracy theories from this site… surprise, surprise. I wonder what kind of correction and/or retraction we’ll see!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Gravatar

    Was a statement made? No. I asked questions and I am glad there were answered thanks to your good knowledge. It remains to be seen what exactly is involved when it comes to Dell’s affair with Microsoft and Novell. More importantly — why?

  3. rfrdt45 said,

    December 19, 2007 at 4:14 am

    Gravatar

    The “I only ask questions” excuse is very shallow. You ask leading questions, you have the very clear aim to conjure up certain conspiracy theories as an answer to these ‘questions’. That is so very low; like the whole of your blow is very, very low.

  4. rfrdt45 said,

    December 19, 2007 at 4:15 am

    Gravatar

    The “I only ask questions” excuse is very shallow. You ask leading questions, you have the very clear aim to conjure up certain conspiracy theories as an answer to these ‘questions’. That is so very low; like the whole of your blog is very, very low-level slander.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 5:39 am

    Gravatar

    Again, as I’ve said above, I really appreciate Dell’s efforts and I’m among those who pressured them hard to take the plunge. As the banner above indicates clearly, the concern here is to do with software patents, not DVD playback (that’s just where I asked some honest leading questions). The worry many of us have is that proprietary, commercial (as in not free), DRM-laden, and/or patent-encumbered software will turn a consumer’s GNU/Linux into something it is not. I know that Dell is, in some sense, “Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place” here. It can’t please everyone.

  6. Jeff Waugh said,

    December 19, 2007 at 5:46 am

    Gravatar

    You’ve used an inaccurate reading of the inclusion of DVD support as the jumping off point for a ridiculous, unproductive insinuation for which you have absolutely no evidence or supporting information whatsoever. I’ll point out that we’ve seen this behaviour before. Right now, the only way to ship legal DVD support is to ship proprietary, licensed software. There is nothing sinister about that, nor is it in any way related to Microsoft. Get your facts straight and your paranoia seen to, Roy.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Gravatar

    Jeff,

    It has been very obvious what you’re trying to do here all along. You’re hoping that by nitpicking amongst a lot of material which I post at a high pace you’ll be able to find your share of ‘proofs’ that you’ll then show people whenever they point out something which was posted in this site. You seek to discredit.

    For similar reasons, people (possibly shills) pollute sites like Slashdot with links to gross photo, insults, homophobia, and other mindless stuff that turns away CIOs and other MBAs, basically robbing the site from its reputation just because the content is uncomfortable for some corporations to accept.

  8. rfrdt45 said,

    December 19, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Gravatar

    ‘Nitpicking’?!?!? Roy, you just write things that are not true! That’s a bit more than minor inaccuracies, which would fit the term ‘nitpicking’.

    How about if you stop “posting at a high pace”, as you so nicely put it, and RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE? As it is now, it doesn’t need any effort to discredit your site, you do that all by yourself. ‘Everyday a Loch Ness Monster, and if I can’t find one, I produce one’, seems to be your motto.

  9. Jeff Waugh said,

    December 19, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Gravatar

    I point out when you’re writing dumb stuff, Roy. Take some responsibility for it instead of being such a tool.

  10. Ian said,

    December 19, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Gravatar

    While I don’t exactly support your ultimate stance of boycotting Novell for the reasons you state(or infer as it normally seems), I would say that your goals might be better served if instead of posting the questions which you use to drive various fictional scenarios, you take Jeff’s advice from previous posts and actually try to get those questions answered by people involved. Then you will be in a better position to back your claims….er….inferences.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Gravatar

    rfrdt45,

    Being a Web site that isn’t the press, one has to consider the fact that research is often limited. I don’t state facts when they are not and the type of discussion that addressed the questions (not false claims) is only to be expected.

    Ian,

    Thanks for the advice, which I will take. At least it wasn’t phrased rudely (that’s you, Jeff).

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  2. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  3. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  4. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  5. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  7. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  8. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  9. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  10. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  11. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  12. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  13. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  15. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  16. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  17. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  18. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  19. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  20. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  22. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  26. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  27. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  28. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  29. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  30. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts