I realize that Hal is no longer in the Ubuntu Software Center for Ubuntu 14.04 and it is only available from a third party at this time. But I would like to know what Ubuntu's plans are for integrating DRM into Linux? Especially with Amazon's integration into the search tool, one would hope that they would make it easier for their Amazon Prime customers to watch Instant Videos.

Is the repository for getting Hal for 13.10 safe for use? What will that break if I install it onto 14.04? Or do we need to find another OS that has DRM built into it?

If Hal is okay to add to the OS using a third party repo, then why doesn't Ubuntu Software Center support it too? I imagine that Amazon's contract with the video copyright holders requires that they have some protection on electronically distributed media. I also imagine that getting Amazon to change is much harder than getting a bunch of software engineers to fix Ubuntu. Unless they don't want too. At which point Ubuntu isn't really a complete OS. Very disappointing. In general the ease of use of Ubuntu, the software center, and the large variety of applications was alluring. But breaking DRM wasn't a great idea. Can't wait to see what fails in our next update.

Please tell us that there is a plan that is going to work in our future.

closed as too broad by dobey, Eric Carvalho, belacqua, Seth May 29 '14 at 3:41

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    The 'hal' package itself is completely unrelated to DRM. The problem is that the flash player is built against old software, and is not ever going to be updated. Also, please ask direct questions and avoid complaining about Ubuntu being an incomplete OS because some vendor does not support it. Ubuntu never broke DRM. If you want to complain about not being able to watch Amazon Instant Video on Ubuntu, the best place to do that is with Amazon Support. – dobey May 27 '14 at 16:10

To answer your question without unhelpful sarcastic remarks [Dobey], I found this link VERY helpful: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/10/fixing-amazon-prime-streaming-drm-protected-flash-13-10

It still works on 14.04 for me.

In addition:

Any OS that cannot garner the support of vendors that it links to directly in its own default searching functions is worth complaining about. If you don't want to work with Amazon to support the supposedly most used Linux OS, you shouldn't link up to them, giving people the impression that the OS actually works with one of the most commonly used web functions (e.g. watching videos/flash).

Here's the terminal command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install hal
  • Can you include the ppa install instructions in your answer? sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install hal – jmunsch May 28 '14 at 2:34
  • Thank you; I had seen Michael Blennerhassett's solution and am greatful that he is maintaining a repo for hal. I am also certain that I could have followed the steps outlined to see if they would work for me. But the other's for whom I have installed Ubuntu for would not be able to do the same and they will never even try. – Kurt Sanger May 28 '14 at 18:50
  • So both of you have answered my question. There will be no support for playing Amazon Instant Videos until Amazon changes their method of distribution. That's a shame. I found it easier to install 12.04 and pull Hal from the software center. That also makes my new meida center box equal to my other computers. And gave me the ability to remote in. I will continue to complain to Amazon too. But not enabling solutions in the software center because their old yet still work isn't very helpful to me. – Kurt Sanger May 28 '14 at 18:54
  • This works in 15.04 as well, with Firefox (not Chrome). – Prime624 Jul 18 '15 at 20:05

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