Provide policy & ethical information to user.

Registered by Jack Wasey on 2006-06-05

Ubuntu has a clear policy on using open and free standards. Making provision of Skype, java (in current state) and other software easy undermines this policy. Some software or services have poor ethical reputations. The purpose of this spec is to allow the user to make an informed decision about what they install, and to offer free, open and ethical alternatives.

Some software encourages unethical companies. E.g. Yahoo and other companies have given information to the Chinese government leading to imprisonment of pro-democracy campaigners. Google censors the internet in China. To be consistently ethical, Ubuntu should inform users of problems with licences and ethics, NOT make installing alien applications easier.

There are free alternatives or work-arounds for all commonly-used applications. The purpose of this spec is to allow the user to make an informed decision, not prevent them from installing or using 'bad' software. The information can be provided in a (relatively) non-judgemental, factual way. E.g.

"You have just installed Skype. This is not included in Ubuntu because:
1) The protocol is secret
2) Skype has tried to engage in anti-competitive practices, by limiting users on conference calls for non-Intel users.
3) Skype has provided confidential IM conversations to the Chinese government leading to the imprisonment of several people (http://etc.)

Ubuntu offers the following alternatives:
Ekiga, Wengophone [links, etc.]

DO YOU WISH TO CONTINUE USING THIS SOFTWARE?
[Yes/No/Cancel]"

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
None
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
Jack Wasey
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
None
Definition:
New
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None

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