Linspire Strikes Again.

Story: Desktop Linux provider Linspire Now Natively Supports Latest Versions of Windows MediaTotal Replies: 6
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Nov 18, 2004
8:47 AM EDT
I seem to recall a distribution called TurboLinux which hit the streets several months ago that offered PowerDVD AND Windows Media Support as well, before this press release hit the streets.

This is nothing more than the fruition of the settlement wherein Microsoft bought off Roberts, allowing them 4 years to distribute legally the codecs they were including already. The chutzpah of this latter-day Barnum is nothing short of amazing.

Nov 18, 2004
9:56 AM EDT
From the TurboLinux site at

"Enjoy playing Windows Media-based content, including Windows Media Video 9 and all other versions of Windows Media Audio except for Windows Media Audio Pro."

It looks like TurboLinux doesn't support WMA9

Nov 18, 2004
11:26 AM EDT
From what I gather of the Linspire forums, Linspire got licenses for all codecs that weren't DRM-encumbered. They tried for the others but Microsoft scoffed at them.

Nov 20, 2004
12:08 PM EDT
Linspire got the "rights" do use the codecs they had already included in xine (the win32 codec package we all obtain from Microsoft said in effect, you already ship them out, now you can do it LEGALLY. Yippee freaking skippy! They take code from someone else, slap a big "L" on the front, claim it is an inspiration from heaven, and pass it on (for a fee, of course) and the Barnumisms never stop. The sellout got Roberts 20 million bucks, so spend it on more advertising. What a complete and utter crock, and a disservice to Linux/Unix in general.

Nov 21, 2004
9:49 AM EDT
You said:

"They take code from someone else, slap a big "L" on the front, claim it is an inspiration from heaven, and pass it on (for a fee, of course) and the Barnumisms never stop."

What programs are those? The only ones I know of that have "L" in front of them are Lphoto and Lsongs. If you're alleging that this are actually other programs in disguise, download the sources from their site and take a look at them and please tell us all what programs they *really* are.

According to their developers, Linspire got the source code to the Windows CE versions of the codecs and rebuilt them for Linux. If you install the revised Mplayer, sure enough you end up with and, and the Windows DLLs are gone.

I don't think Roberts sold out - a huge company with unlimited resources sued him, and then paid him $20 million to get out of it. Sounds like a smart business move to take the deal.

As to the legality of the Windows DLLs distributed by - surely you don't advocate the illegal use of copyrighted materials, otherwise there'd be nothing preventing Microsoft from using GPL'd code without honoring the license, which is based entirely on copyright law.

Nov 22, 2004
3:55 AM EDT
Look, I am definitely fighting the free software front just as much as anyone else, but to be successful, it is necessary to turn some heads. No matter how much effort a team puts into something like the mplayer plugin, if a site like Yahoo Launch attempts to block Mozilla and Linux users, it makes it pretty hard to get widespread adoption. Michael Robertson is playing a very important role on the advocacy front, getting these companies to recognize this community. Sometimes you have to make compromises to make it happen in the short run, but once recognition kicks in, we boot libraries such as WMA in favor of the open source counterparts. It sounds dirty, but to win you have to know how to negotiate.

Nov 22, 2004
10:21 AM EDT
If anyone think Linspire is sailing a little too close to the wind check out these guys from Brazil

covered over at TheInguirer

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