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  1. #1
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    Questions and answers on software patents

    Hi

    Since I have gotten really tired of answering the same questions on MP3 et all, I have written up some answers at

    https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Software_Patents

    Note that I am not that a not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but if you have more questions or seen questions that are related that you want to see answered, let me know and I will try my best to provide them within the wiki page. Thanks.
    Rahul
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RahulSundaram

  2. #2
    scottro's Avatar
    scottro is offline Retired Community Manager -- Banned from Texas by popular demand.
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    I've made this a sticky, which willl make it easier for readers to find, (and for us to direct readers to it. )

    Thanks, as always, for your efforts.
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  3. #3
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    Excellent material that should answer almost anyone's questions. Thanks, Rahul.
    Linux & Beer - That TOTALLY Computes!
    Registered Linux User #362651


    Don't use any of my solutions on working computers or near small children.

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Hello Rahul,

    Great stuff! If you did the write-up ... great work! Either way .... thanks!


    Can't you pay the patent license fees for patent encumbered codecs?
    Might it be worth mentioning that users may purchase their own codecs/licenses should they so choose. OpenSUSE, on their "restricted formats" info page, links to Fluendo Workshop. IMO, at 28 euro, it's overpriced, so I have never tried it. Nevertheless, I think that the option to purchase such a product has an important place in the broader discussion of FOSS, Patents, copyright, and my favourite download from iTunes.

    And taking the idea a little further:

    If a comparable product could be brought to market in neighbourhood of $10, would the discussion be different? Might many users find that to be an acceptable alternative to a genuinely free (not free beer) system? While I would rather pay for a genuinely free alternative than receive the same old patent/copyright/litigate muck free of charge, I think many users just want an inexpensive system that works.

    I can't help but think that Fedora, OpenSUSE, and others who actually play by the rules, can find a more elegant set of choices to offer their end users.

    Enjoy!


    oxala

  5. #5
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    It's not the price, nor the availability. It's the concept of Free that Fedora supports, so alternatives are going to be suggested and done by 3rd. parties. Fedora, being FOSS isn't going there. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Overview
    Linux & Beer - That TOTALLY Computes!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Hi,

    I have a small note to that page about WebM and Fluendo. Fedora did try to work out a solution with a app called Codeina but it was pretty controversial and we have abandoned it in favor of PackageKit gstreamer integration.
    Rahul
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RahulSundaram

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Hello again,

    I have been using Fedora for only a few weeks. The fantastic PackageKit/gstreamer integration has been the single biggest "WOW" feature to my mind. It's slick! The most impressive experience ... I plugged in my colorometer and with no thinking ... in less than a minute ... it's reading test swatches .... like magic!

    This is how an os SHOULD work!

    ... and did I mention I'm really impressed ... :P

  8. #8
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Quote Originally Posted by RahulSundaram
    Hi,

    I have a small note to that page about WebM and Fluendo. Fedora did try to work out a solution with a app called Codeina but it was pretty controversial and we have abandoned it in favor of PackageKit gstreamer integration.

    This q's is for Rahul,
    why Im unable to install fedora 11 in my new DELL pc i5 650 processor...nothing happens just blank screen . it has NVDIA groforce310 video card. It has windows 7 in partition in it. I want fedora 1011/ in it. fedora 10 , was installed successfully, but while rebooting just some number scrolling the scree,...
    pls help me. I dont understand what's the problem with fedora and Intel core*TM) i5 650 processor
    that got from DELL Inspiron 580s model desktop
    pls help me.

  9. #9
    leigh123linux Guest

    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Quote Originally Posted by ruma
    This q's is for Rahul,
    why Im unable to install fedora 11 in my new DELL pc i5 650 processor...nothing happens just blank screen . it has NVDIA groforce310 video card. It has windows 7 in partition in it. I want fedora 1011/ in it. fedora 10 , was installed successfully, but while rebooting just some number scrolling the scree,...
    pls help me. I dont understand what's the problem with fedora and Intel core*TM) i5 650 processor
    that got from DELL Inspiron 580s model desktop
    pls help me.
    Can you keep to the thread subject, if you have have issues with F10/11 start a new thread in the EOL subforum.

    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=75

  10. #10
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Quote Originally Posted by oxala
    IMO, at 28 euro, it's overpriced, so I have never tried it.
    At 28euro, that barely covers licensing from the patents. I remember a Apple representative saying it costs about $50 NZD for a license for MP3.

  11. #11
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Fluendo offers MP3 playback for free, and I think Ubuntu offers it as a free add-on, and for other formats you can purchase it through their store.

    This is where the target audience really effects how the distro will handle it.

    A distro focused on general consumers has to deal with people who don't CARE about it, they want it to work now and they don't want to do anything more than self-gratifying one-click button pushing.

    A distro focused on power-users and more Linux tinkering, making it easy is nice, but not necessarily required.
    Linux provides freedom, the problem is most users don't know what it is or how to use it.
    My Blog | Danbury Area Computer Society Board Member | Linux User# : 477531
    p.s. Anybody who sees I am incorrect in technical procedures, etc., please feel free to correct me. I'm just figuring this out as I go along. :D

  12. #12
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Hi

    It has more to do with where Canonical is located and what legal risks it is willing to take than the target audience. Even in Ubuntu, there are limitations due to legal risks. For instance, lack of one button clicking to enable decss for playing encrypted DVD's. So no distribution can afford to ignore it even if end users don't care
    Rahul
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RahulSundaram

  13. #13
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Yeah, those pesky patents....I remember way back when I was running Fedora 6, I looked and looked before I found a page with the scripts to install all of those codecs. Now with Fedora 15, one can easily run Easy Life or Autoplus, and get them all. PCLinuxOS includes them, I guess they sprang for the licence fees. For my own self, I believe all software should be FREE, license or not. This right here is what drive people to go with Linux, to get away from all of that license bull crap.
    I'll tell you what a license truly is, it is when The Powers That Be, (TPTB) take away an inherent RIGHT, and turn it into a Privilege, then make you pay for it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    Quote Originally Posted by Magickman
    PCLinuxOS includes them, I guess they sprang for the licence fees.
    Doubtful. They report their company headquarters as being at 18618 Cedar Edge Dr Spring, TX, which according to google is a private home worth ~$78,000. Hardly worth going to court over. Red Hat, on the other hand, is a public company that reported over $900 million in revenues for the last fiscal year, and had $624.6 million in cash on hand as of May 2011. If they started shipping patented codecs they would be hit with lawsuits before your first mp3 finished playing.

    I'll tell you what a license truly is, it is when The Powers That Be, (TPTB) take away an inherent RIGHT, and turn it into a Privilege, then make you pay for it.
    Suppose I believe I have an inherent right to your property? That's what we have laws for. And in the U.S. the RIGHTS of copyright, patent, and trademark are enumerated in the Constitution. You may not agree, but you'd better be prepared to explain yourself to The Judge.

  15. #15
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    Re: Questions and answers on software patents

    ... And/or hope that the fellow whose copyright you have infringed upon respects several other laws -- regarding some of your assumed rights -- a helluva lot more that you did his.

    <....>

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