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Re: [Slightly OT] Re: Ranter or evangelist?

On Friday 31 July 2009 01:43:39 gilpel altern org wrote:
> > Yes. You have been told many times already. Fedora CANNOT include
> > mplayer due to legal reasons (ie) some of these codecs infringe on US
> > patents and redistribution of codecs for a distribution legally based in
> > US would invite lawsuits.
> If you take a look at this page:
> http://www.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/
> you will see that some codecs are named "essential". Even though I admit
> knowing very little in the matter, I believe those codecs do not "infringe
> on US patents".

I am afraid they do. Take a look at libavcodec, main part of ffmpeg (which is 
in turn the main part of mplayer):


It has implemented various patented codecs, like vmw. Ditto for audio (further 
down the page), mp3 for example.

> Couldn't the other codecs be packaged separately and be
> distributed through rpmfusion?
> This way, GMplayer would work with MPlayer as Totem does with gstreamer,
> Why is it impossible to include the "ugly" equivalent for MPlayer? This,
> and only this, is what I don't understand.

Not being a mplayer developer, I can only take a wild guess --- mplayer uses 
ffmpeg library whenever possible, and code quality would suffer if ffmpeg would 
be split into several smaller parts. This is essentially design choice --- 
gstreamer is based on a completely different design (not necessarily worse, 
just different) from ffmpeg, and developers usually have their (good) reasons 
for choosing this or that software design. They think it is better this way, 
and they are probably right.

All that said, even if this split into good-bad-ugly is made for mplayer, it 
would be shipped in Fedora as crippled as Totem, and that would serve no 
purpose to anyone. From marketing point of view, I would rather like to have 
it in rpmfusion repository --- either have it fully-functional, or not have it 
at all.

Best, :-)

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