Comment 7 for bug 723831

Ubuntu ships in many countries of the world, and while Free Software is intended to be unrestricted and open for anyone where-ever they are in the world, we have traditionally relied upon users taking responsibility for knowing about the situation in their locales when it comes to non-free software or those known to be encumbered by patent implications or other harsh restrictions.

A very small amount of non-free software is also shipped /on/ the CD, but this has traditionally been restricted to components /necessary/ to make particular hardware systems suitably functional with a Free operating system (in a nutshell: video card and wifi drivers/firmware) and is packaged separately in a way in which it can be disabled and ignored (or even removed).

The proposed change in defaults perhaps appears to be somewhat undefined/unclear in terms of (a) ground support of day-to-day Ubuntu users and developers, (b) legal implications [your consultation with Amanda is noted], (c) long-standing policies on what we promote, (d) support implications. This bug report would benefit greatly if those rationales were clearly documented here on it first.

My hunch is that this probably wants to go via the Community Council to ensure people /want it/, and via the Technical Board to ensure it's /sane/. If either of those give push-back and it's still wanted by certain parties it might be sensible to take to UDS in a couple of months.

Whilst it might seem like "only a tickbox default", it is a change in policy from toleration of non-free material in the default install (where absolutely necessary as a functional stop-gap) to a policy of implicit promotion of non-free software. Now not all third-party software is without source or proprietary, so perhaps we could also offer to differentiate along those lines if it's useful.