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Re: The Multimedia Question

On Fri, 2007-07-20 at 10:25 -0400, Elliot Lee wrote:
> >From what I can gather, here's what's important:
> 1. Promoting software freedom.
> 2. Making life easier for the users who want to play media files.
> It seems to me like goal #1 requires that the default install and
> official Fedora links not point users at software that is not really
> free. Simple as that.
Depending on your definition of free...
-1) Non-libre, non-gratis, software.
0) Non-patent-encumbered, non-free software but free-as-in-beer software
1) Patent-encumbered-in-the-US free software.
2) Patent-encumbered-in-the-US non-free software that has a license
granting use of the patent.
3) Patent-encumbered-in-the-US free software with the patent licensed
for use of a binary build of the software.

#-1 is not in any repo I'm aware of us thinking of linking to but it
could exist in a repository we don't control.
#0 is not mentioned in this thread but is a part of third party repos we
may be contemplating linking to.
#1 includes mplayer, xine w/DVD support, etc.
#2 includes the Fluendo WMV codec plugin for gstreamer.
#3 includes the Fluendo mp3 codec plugin for gstreamer.

If there were no legal issues, I'd like Fedora to be able to distribute,
automatically install, point to, or otherwise make as easy as possible
for users to get #1 and #3.  So the open-ended question posed to legal
would be: how can we help end-users get #1 and #3.  #0 and #2 are
proprietary software and are philosophically against the Fedora mission
of providing a complete OS built on free software.

I think this is the basis of Max's original question of larger strategy.
Does the Board and the people who make up the Project *desire* to make
end-user's lives better WRT patent-encumbered free software or do we
lump patent-encumbered free software in the same category as non-free?

So my personal open-ended question for legal would be: How can we help
users get #1 and #3?

Targeted questions would be:
* Can we point users at a repository we don't control that has #1, #3,
and possibly things less legal (Since we don't control it)?
* Can we point users to a specific package of #1 or #3 in another
* Can we download and attempt to install the package for the user in
either of the above cases?


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