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Should Linux distributions ONLY ship with free software? (ie: no proprietary code)

Yes. Linux should be completely free of proprietary code.
27% (7 votes)
Yes, but end users should be able to easily add non-free code (ie: drivers, etc) during install if they wish.
31% (8 votes)
No, distributions should be able to add proprietary code as they see fit.
12% (3 votes)
No, but distributions should educate users during install about the differences in free vs. proprietary code.
15% (4 votes)
I don't care.
15% (4 votes)
Total votes: 26

Comments

The first choice in this

The first choice in this poll says "free of patent encumbered code". A lot of things in GNU/Linux *could* be patent encumbered. Software patents are a minefield and you can never be absolutely sure that what you use doesn't use some patented algorithms.

That said, I think the first choice should rather say just "free of proprietary code".

While I am at it, I personally dislike when free distros put known patent encumbered software out of the distro. Patents are meaningless and in Europe aren't even enforcable properly. If mplayer is Free Software I want it in.

It is not the same issue as the issue of software under proprietary copyright licenses. Copyrights aren't the same thing as patents and it is perfectly possible for patented software to be Free Software per copyright law at the same time, as long as some sort of patent licensing doesn't circumvent the copyright license (e.g. GPL).

fixed

libervisco wrote:

The first choice in this poll says "free of patent encumbered code". A lot of things in GNU/Linux *could* be patent encumbered. Software patents are a minefield and you can never be absolutely sure that what you use doesn't use some patented algorithms.

That said, I think the first choice should rather say just "free of proprietary code".

Fixed it.

I chose the third option,

I chose the third option, although it is not exactly the same as my opinion. I think no proprietary software should be installed by default, however some proprietary software, such as wireless drivers should be included on the cdrom. Otherwise users might get in chicken and egg situations where they can't download the proprietary software they might want, because they don't have that proprietary software.

I think that some distros

I think that some distros should, others should not. But the user must be informed.

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