Codec buddy and Free software

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at
Wed Jul 18 14:49:56 UTC 2007


When the earlier discussions about codec buddy 
( in Fedora 
came up, the board decided on the Fluendo. This is not a very ideal 
solution since it promotes proprietary software and except for the MP3 
plugin is also a commercial solution. However the decision was in favor 
of this as this was considered the only safe legal choice at that time 
in comparison rather than pointing to third party repositories.

After the decision was made, there has a recent supreme court case in 
between MS vs AT&T ( 
This ruling in essence weakens software patents and holders of U.S. 
software patents cannot enforcing those patents in other countries 
anymore unless they also hold a patent in other regions if they allow it.

It appears as a result of this decision we might be able to point to a 
third party repository as a alternative to the Fluendo codecs. We had a 
long discussion in Fedora Project Board list before and there has been 
no consensus so far in this issue even assuming this is a legally valid 
solution. There was questions raised about whether this violates the GPL 
license and I have received clarification from FSF that it would not 

I would like to get comments on whether folks here are favorable to 
pointing to a third party repository from codec buddy (with appropriate 
warnings and disclaimers). If this is considered something we wanted to 
do we will consult with Red Hat legal to verify that is a legally safe 
choice for us. Comments?


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