Bonum Certa Men Certa

MS Buys Codecs from MS

[M]ark [S]huttleworth buys [M]icro[S]oft codecs for Ubuntu

The following observation came up in our IRC channel just a short while ago. It indicates that Ubuntu engaged in licensing of codecs from Microsoft.

<microsoft-spy> schestowitz: you are allowed, Ubuntu licensed Windows Media from Microsoft for Netbooks <jbh> I don't know anyone in CA <moparx> I'll never understand why a distro (or any foss developer for that matter) would purposefully taint themselves for some of microsoft's proprietary scraps. <schestowitz> Gah. Maybe that's why they don't allow downloads of it. <schestowitz> Software patents aren't even valid where Canonical is. <schestowitz> ms-spy, got a URL, please? <jbh> never even heard of netbooks before <microsoft-spy> schestowitz, how about ? <schestowitz> I believe this is important because given what I know I worry that MS (Mark S.) would do the same with MS for business 'enterprise' boxes. <microsoft-spy> schestowitz, MS does whatever benefits him, proprietary kernel parts etc <schestowitz> Which MS? <schestowitz> :-) <microsoft-spy> Shuttleworth <schestowitz> Well, that's very problematic because he enables Microsoft to control the price of Free software. <schestowitz> They already cross-licence with Apple, but they play by their own rules. <microsoft-spy> he just says "All the *applications* in Ubuntu are free software only." <schestowitz> Cross-licensing (pardon the typo above) is incompatible with the GPL. <schestowitz> Yes, but.. <microsoft-spy> so does not include drivers, firmware, codecs, ... <schestowitz> Just to be clear, the issue is not binary/FOSS, but gratis/taxed <schestowitz> This forbids redistribution, which is also why they don't permit downloads. It's like another Moonlight.

If you fail to see why this is bad, then consider looking back at the Red Hat 'extortion' story (more in this recent article about the 'codec incident'). Also recall what Novell did.

In order to defend such plots, Microsoft has been fighting for DMCA around the world -- essentially extending beyond the boundaries of the United States. Recently it was Canada that got targeted and in the news you find Red Hat's founder, Bob Young, entering the ring.

Lulu Inc. CEO Bob Young is a major voice in the open source software industry, but according to him the entire community has been unjustifiably ignored throughout the Canadian government's copyright reform initiatives.

Last year, the Conservative government vowed to adopt copyright laws which would make it illegal to modify or remove any device or software fitted with a technical protection measures (TPMs). After months of hearsay and numerous delays, the buzz on Parliament Hill now suggests a proposed copyright bill from Industry Minister Jim Prentice is imminent.

In the wake of these rumors -- which many industry activists have begun referring to as the Canadian version of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- a new open source software alliance has added their name to the lengthy list of opposition to the Industry Minister's soon-to-be-unveiled legislation.

It's worth adding that Bob Young is pro-GPLv3 (video).

We wrote about this Microsoft lobby before. As some further relevant readings (external links), consider:

This is a dangerous precedence that Microsoft is setting and It's sad to see Canonical and Intel playing along. Nevertheless, it's not surprising given the nearness of Intel and Microsoft. In private, sources told us a few months ago that Mark Shuttleworth negotiated codecs with Microsoft.

Ubuntu modified logo
Who's that fourth chap we don't know?


Recent Techrights' Posts

Is BlueMail a Client of ZDNet Now?
Let's examine what BlueMail does to promote itself
OpenBSD Says That Even on Linux, Wayland Still Has a Number of Rough Edges (But IBM Wants to Make X Extinct)
IBM tries to impose unready software on users
Links 29/11/2023: VMware Layoffs and Too Many Microsofters Going Inside Google
Links for the day
Just What LINUX.COM Needed After Over a Month of Inactivity: SPAM SPAM SPAM (Linux Brand as a Spamfarm)
It's not even about Linux
Microsoft “Discriminated Based on Sexuality”
Relevant, as they love lecturing us on "diversity" and "inclusion"...
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
IRC logs for Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Media Cannot Tell the Difference Between Microsoft and Iran
a platform with back doors
Links 28/11/2023: New Zealand's Big Tobacco Pivot and Google Mass-Deleting Accounts
Links for the day
Justice is Still the Main Goal
The skulduggery seems to implicate not only Microsoft
[Teaser] Next Week's Part in the Series About Anti-Free Software Militants
an effort to 'cancel' us and spy on us
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Professor Eben Moglen on How Social Control Media Metabolises Humans and Constraints Freedom of Thought
Nothing of value would be lost if all these data-harvesting giants (profiling people) vanished overnight
IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 27, 2023
IRC logs for Monday, November 27, 2023
When Microsoft Blocks Your Access to Free Software
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Techrights Statement on 'Cancel Culture' Going Out of Control
relates to a discussion we had in IRC last night
Stuff People Write About Linux
revisionist pieces
Links 28/11/2023: Rosy Crow 1.4.3 and Google Drive Data Loss
Links for the day
Links 27/11/2023: Australian Wants Tech Companies Under Grip
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
Links 27/11/2023: Underwater Data Centres and Gemini, BSD Style!
Links for the day
[Meme] Leaning Towards the Big Corporate CoC
Or leaning to "the green" (money)
Software Freedom Conservancy Inc in 2022: Almost Half a Million Bucks for Three People Who Attack Richard Stallman and Defame Linus Torvalds
Follow the money
[Meme] Identity Theft and Forgery
Coming soon...
Microsoft Has Less Than 1,000 Mail (MX) Servers Left, It's Virtually Dead in That Area (0.19% of the Market)
Exim at 254,000 servers, Postfix at 150,774, Microsoft down to 824
The Web is Dying, Sites Must Evolve or Die Too
Nowadays when things become "Web-based" it sometimes means more hostile and less open than before
Still Growing, Still Getting Faster
Articles got considerably longer too (on average)
In India, the One Percent is Microsoft and Mozilla
India is where a lot of software innovations and development happen, so this kind of matters a lot
Feeding False Information Using Sockpuppet Accounts and Imposters
online militants try every trick in the book, even illegal stuff
What News Industry???
Marketing, spam, and chatbots
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 26, 2023
IRC logs for Sunday, November 26, 2023
The Software Freedom Law Center's Eben Moglen Explains That We Already Had Free Software Almost Everywhere Before (Half a Century Ago)
how code was shared in the 1970s and 80s