MySpace Oddly Thwarts Linux Adoption

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 3
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Jun 29, 2006
7:49 PM EDT
After we got hacked with a system.ini IBM00001.EXE keystroke logger, it wasn't just me who was on Linux. My wife and son caved in and now run Ubuntu too after that incident. My daughter, however, was a tough cookie. She's a MySpacehead and wants her proprietary multimedia formats that come on MySpace. Legally in the USA, I can't give her Ubuntu for her to use to view this stuff. I have to download illegal codecs to get her going. That bites. And if she wants to pop in a DVD and watch a movie, Ubuntu can't get her there either because of the proprietary multimedia. Or what about an MP3. Again -- illegal codec. That's why XMMS, Totem, and MPlayer won't play this stuff -- you have to break the law in the USA to get the codecs to undo this.

Someone needs to confront the owner of MySpace and show him the delights of free multimedia formats. He preaches free-ness, anyway, to his users, so why not go the next step and preach free multimedia formats?

Another group of users would do good to figure out who's locking up the DVD market such that you have to license a codec to view a DVD? That's just stupid.

If we want Linux adoption, we need to have a set of weapons that makes free, open source data formats more enticing and easy to implement, even on Windows and Mac. An S5 slideshow or Ogg Theora video could be made to show not only the bad news with proprietary multimedia formats, but the good news of using the free, open source formats.

And do we do ourselves a deservice by walking around, trying to preach to businesses, "Yeah, you would do a lot better if you did it in Ogg Theora." Do you think that's going to go over smoothly without someone smirking or shooting the messenger? It needs a good name.

I seriously think that Microsoft and Apple know this. The way they can keep their foot on Linux is to convince developers that it's easier to compose with their stuff, and easier on end users to get going and use.

If has all this cash, they would probably spend it very wisely if they could have a campaign that helps fight DRM as well as provide tools and resources for Mac, Windows, and Linux users to start using the free, open source doc and multimedia formats.

Jun 29, 2006
8:05 PM EDT
> Another group of users would do good to figure out who's locking up the DVD market such that you have to license a codec to view a DVD? That's just stupid.

The official limitation on DVD's is CSS, which is an encryption scheme, not a codec. And yes, it's probably illegal to use it in the US, though as far as I know that's never been tested in court. The primary decss court case was over linking to the decss code, not using it. If there's a special codec required to view DVD's, I haven't encountered it.

Jun 29, 2006
8:12 PM EDT
Thanks. Didn't know that.

Jun 30, 2006
3:59 AM EDT
I you want your daughter on Linux, but you do not want to break the law, then get a commercial linux distro that does have the codecs (and paid for them). PCLinuxOS comes to mind, or Xandros.

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