Open Ballot: should distros license codecs?


So, Canonical has licensed H.264 for its partners. Is it a good thing? Should more distros strike deals that allow end users to play DVDs, watch Flash movies and more out of the box, or is it more important that we take a united stand in the name of Free Software and support free codecs like Theora?

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A definite and resounding no.
If the cost of licensing the patents involved in the open source implementation x264 of the patented open standard video codec h.264 are passed on to the customer, then yes.
Otherwise it's just not economically sustainable.

As clearly shown in the comments in this thread, most of the yes posts come from users who haven't got the slightest clue about what a software patent is and how seriously patents suffocate software innovation.

If Mark Shuttleworth wants to give away his money to MPEGLA, he can do what he wants but he could at least be educating his users at the same time. Ubuntu users are the most likely type of Linux users who need that kind of information.
He will also be broke pretty quickly if he tries to license the rest of the patented software included in Ubuntu only to give it away without passing on the cost.

MPEGLA are an evil greedy group of people which do not deserve a penny from anyone.
They are basically software's equivalent of the vampire and their operation needs to be shut down.

MPEGLA will not contribute a single penny of the licensing fee back to FOSS development and are planning to raise the h.264 license fee if h.264 gets a strong hold on the web.
It will be subscription models and all kind of other shady tactics from MPEGLA too.

Anyone backing h.264 makes absolutely no sense. The playback quality isn't even that good.


Boycott MPEG LA's patents!

If Linux wants to Truely Compete

The average user expects three things from any computer experience . Surf the web. Get their email and watch or listen to entertainment choices.
Thats why the “ Pay for “ OS’s include it they pay the fees. . The inclusion of the Propitiatory software and drivers. Isn’t free.
That is the HEART of Linux and the community , to be accepted as an legitimate operating system by the general public it MUST do all three things. ... if its done with Open source or Propitiatory lines of code . The general public doesn’t care. They will put their DVD’s in or go to You Tube and expect it to work and when it doesn't they will call it crap and switch back .

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