"I wrote recently about legal concerns involving multimedia
patents on Ubuntu, and how to obtain licensed codecs without
breaking the law. But I didn't give much thought to the
philosophical side of the issue. That's an important topic in the
Ubuntu community, so I'm catching up with it here.
"The incorporation of proprietary software into Ubuntu has long
been a touchy issue. Even where legal ambiguities are not in
play–as in the case of closed-source video drivers or Adobe's
flash plugin–there are those who object to the use of
proprietary software in any form, even if it's the only reasonable
way to achieve vital functionality.
"Fortunately, those voices are few and far between these days
(either that, or they've moved onto other, "Freer" distributions),
and Ubuntu developers are able to place pragmatism before
philosophy when it comes to putting proprietary hardware drivers
and other essential closed-source software in the Ubuntu
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