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I think it's pretty strange that they're not included. This is one thing that will scare new users away.

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A legal alternative for DVD playback would be the Fluendo DVD Player available for installation from the Ubuntu Software Center (currently priced at US$24.95). Click here to install it. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 21 '12 at 16:13
On another side note, Windows 8 no longer includes DVD playback by default; it now has to be purchased separately to cover licensing costs. So, Ubuntu is not alone in this regard. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 21 '12 at 16:16
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Probably because of the legal issues around CSS, at least in some jurisdictions.

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I think the main idea is that libdvdcss is free software, but illegal. Ubuntu restricted extras is more the opposite, that the codecs are legal, but the software is non-free.

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