is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

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is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby symon1980 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:26 am

Hi, just wondering if it is legal for linux mint to come with the preinstalled codecs it comes with?
don't bother me too much, but a friend of mine seems to think that it could end up a problem
for linux mint in the future because of this......
can anybody clear this up for me?
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby Fred on Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:38 am

symon1980,

There are some countries where it might be illegal, there are other countries that it is legal. If you are in a country where it is illegal, download the light version. It doesn't contain the codecs.

No one here would advocate you breaking your local laws.

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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby Sunny Rabbiera on Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:22 am

me i stopped caring about this kind of crap long ago.
Legal is such a funny word these days, me I ignore such things as they are redundant.
but using Mint is pretty legal, really yes it has a lot of codecs and such but technically if you had windows on your computer at one time you have the rights to its formats.
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby symon1980 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:55 am

oops, i should of rephrased my question
i was wondering if it was legal or not in Australia?
not that it worries me. just curious:)
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby Fred on Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:12 am

symon1980,

I am sorry, but I can't help you with the laws in the "Down Under." :-)

As Sunny Rabbiera, pointed out, I sincerely doubt you could be held liable, even if it is illegal, if you have purchased a Windows license in the past sometime. The use of those codecs was one of the things you paid for. Granted, most of what you paid for was Bill's new Ferrari, but there was a bit in there for codecs too. :-)

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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby stevenofnine on Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:26 pm

Fred wrote:if you have purchased a Windows license in the past sometime. The use of those codecs was one of the things you paid for.


You may well want to read your EULA. I suspect you'll find you're licensed to use those codecs with a Windows license while using the Windows operating system. This is why, when you purchase a song via WMP, perhaps via URGE, DRM prevents you porting it to another platform, or limits you to 3 computers. As does iTunes. Same way you're licensed to play a DVD on a DVD-player, or on your computer with a licensed DVD-decoding technology, and not to make it into an XviD!

Windows is unlikely to allow free transfer of technology, via EULA or lack of particulars in the EULA, to Mac or Linux.

An interesting read: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070115-8624.html

Real recently won a lawsuit enabling it to decode Windows Media on Linux via its Linux software, but that did not include DRM management.
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby Fred on Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:47 pm

stevenofnine,

I could easily stand corrected. :-) The last Windows EULA I had was for Win98. I don't want to read it bad enough to try to find it. I'll take your word for it. lol

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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby BlahBlah_X on Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:20 pm

- The problem with codecs is not that they might be “illegal” in some countries, but that they might give reasons for people to make patents threats in some countries. So for instance, if you’re in the USA you’re not breaking the law by downloading the Main Edition, but if you happen to be a company or a magazine which is using or distributing Linux Mint Main Edition you’re taking a risk because patent owners can potentially make a case against you. So for this reason, we also provide another version of Linux Mint, called the Light Edition, which comes free of all patented technologies.

Clem said that.

I hope that clears stuff up.
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby stevenofnine on Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:34 am

BlahBlah_X wrote:- The problem with codecs is not that they might be “illegal” in some countries, but that they might give reasons for people to make patents threats in some countries.



Exactly, it's not about breaking law, it's about... money, surprise, surprise. That's why it was important for the open source community that Real Networks win their case against Microsoft, allowing their free version of real player to decode proprietary codecs which, on Windows, require a license.
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby bth73 on Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:49 am

Just my 2 cents worth, but how many times must you pay for the same property rights?
Lets count: vinyl records, 4 track tapes, 8 track tapes, cass tapes, CD's, DVD's Beta, VHS, windows 98, ME, XP, Vista, Mac os whatever, ECT,ECT,
THE COMPUTER SLAYER
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Re: is it illegal for mint to come preinstalled with the codecs?

Postby belovedmonster on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:32 am

stevenofnine wrote:You may well want to read your EULA. I suspect you'll find you're licensed to use those codecs with a Windows license while using the Windows operating system. This is why, when you purchase a song via WMP, perhaps via URGE, DRM prevents you porting it to another platform, or limits you to 3 computers. As does iTunes.


That's got nothing to do with codecs!!! That is so the record companies can stop you from buying a song and then sharing it with other people. By limiting how many PCs and how many portable devices you can sync the song to it prevents mass copying of the purchased songs.

Now that DRM is all but dead their new tactic is to have a digital watermark hidden in the mp3, so you can freely copy and distribute the mp3 if you want to but that song will always contain the information of who originally purchased it which can be used to trace the file back to you. Which seems like a nightmare to me because what if your laptop is stolen and all your songs get uploaded to the internet and you get the blame for it? ...But this is another debate all together.
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