First there was news that Yahoo would be the default search engine in Ubuntu, then we heard about the move to a closed source Single Sign on Service built on OpenID, now we find out that the Ubuntu Music Store will be sacrificing the open-source ogg-theora format for proprietary MP3. Is Ubuntu drifting away from the Open-Source movement?
The trend would appear to be a dangerous flirtation with closed-source and proprietary systems as minuscule changes in the way the Ubuntu community functions begins to add up to a huge shift away from Open-Source movement which created Ubuntu in the first place..
Let’s take a look at what each of the above trends represents:
Yahoo = $$$$ = Microsoft-friendly strategic move.
Closed ID = an Easy Betrayal (+1 for the securocrats)
MP3 = $$$$ (plus DRM always an option)
Should we be worried? Well yes and no. The Yahoo search engine can be easily changed for another, less Microsoft-based search; MP3s bought via the Music Store can be converted to Ogg (the decoder is now in the official repository), but there is going to be no alternative to using ClosedID. Slowly but surely we are moving towards a closed source universe like Windows. Why should Ubuntu users have to change the default on Freedom? The default for software-freedom is free. This is what we all want, and therefore I encourage readers to kick up a fuss about the lack of support for Ogg Theora in the Music Store and the new ClosedID system.