Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ubuntu and Multimedia Patents: An Introduction

Filed under

If you’re like me, you don’t put much thought into where your multimedia codecs come from: you run a quick “apt-get install gstreamer-plugins-ugly” on new installs and move on to more important things. But not everyone’s like me, and as Ubuntu moves increasingly into government and the workplace, patent and licensing issues are becoming more and more important for many Ubuntu users.

Linux and patents

The Linux community has a long history of shirking restrictive software patents and licenses, which should not surprise anyone. After all, at the core of the free-software movement is repulsion at the notion of having to abide by terms that users may not agree with in order to use their computers. Many people use Linux because they want to live a life unencumbered by software patents.

Reality, however, rarely lives up to perfection. Although many Ubuntu users would like to be able to rely only on software licensed under the GPL, a large number of us have to use proprietary code. From closed-source video drivers to “binary blobs” in the Linux kernel, non-GPL software is often a pragmatic necessity for getting the most out of a machine.

Why multimedia is different

More in Tux Machines

First Ubuntu Touch Images Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Are Now Live

Just a few moments ago, we were notified by Łukasz Zemczak from Canonical about the latest work done by the Ubuntu Touch developers for the upcoming OTA-9 software update for Ubuntu Phones. Read more

5 open-source alternatives to Slack

Here are five full-featured Slack alternatives — tools that go beyond IRC, in other words — that are open-source software, which means you can download it and run it on whatever server you want. That implies that you’re in charge of security, for better or worse, instead of, say, Slack. Read more

FFmpeg 2.8.3 "Feynman" Released, It's Now the Latest Stable FFmpeg Version

Earlier today, November 27, FFmpeg, the leading multimedia framework for Linux kernel-based operating systems has received a new maintenance release, version 2.8.3, which updates many of the project's core components. Read more

Tumbleweed changes fonts, Leap gets several updates

Tumbleweed had one snapshot so far this week that brought more appeal to users of openSUSE. Snapshot 20151123 changed fonts for openSUSE. The terminal font changed to Adobe Code Pro and Roboto was also added as the default font. Read more