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RE: Redhat's intentions for streaming media support in Mozilla

If redhat's reasoning for leaving out a binary only application
(not sure if the realplayer plugin applies but lets say it does)
is to avoid some type of legal repercussion's, then why don't they 
license it from the appropriate people and then charge for it in 
their 'deluxe' version.  This would not only meet the needs of new 
users looking for the same features of other operating systems but 
would also be a money maker for Redhat.

If redhat is serious about going after the desktop market (which
I think they are) then they need to address this area.  If that 
requires them to license some technology to do it, that's what should
be done.  This is a win-win for both the consumer and redhat.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jef Spaleta [mailto:jspaleta princeton edu] 
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 10:29 AM
To: phoebe-list redhat com

On Sun, 2003-02-23 at 12:46, Todd Booher wrote:
> This has been a huge omission on RH's part to not include a media 
> player with native support for one of the formats you mentioned.
> Obviously
> real player support would be the easiest but they don't seem to think 
> it's important.  Linux newbies are not going to go through the trouble

> of installing realplayer or mplayer and doing all the configuration 
> necessary to get it all working.

As far as I know, redhat makes it a point to NOT ship binary only
applications in its standard linux offering...for support reasons.
Redhat earns a living off support, and I'm not going to argue with a FOR
PROFIT linux distributor who has been on target for being a profitable
business, when they say, providing binary only drivers and applications
would hurt their ability to provide high quality support services. 

And I'm not going to argue when they say there are grey areas in the
legalities of providing open source media products that are out on the
market because of patent and copyright licensing issues. I don't have my
own legal staff that can provide me with an informed opinion on the
matter. I know just enough to know that I don't know enough to say with
confidence that shipping something like mplayer would not open up Redhat
to some sort of serious litigation.  Redhat is not debian...there are
realistic corporate concerns that Redhat has to consider, and I think
they are all aware of how great it would be to provide a full featured
multimedia desktop. I really wish users would stop assuming the Redhat
developers don't know how great real multimedia support would
be...redhat is not populated by "completely" daft people.  Everyone in
opensource loves being an arm-chair lawyer...but Redhat enough sense to
not rely on amateur legal opinion.  You can't just assume you can ship a
certain technology, you can't just assume that you can release a certain
technology under an Open Source license...it would be nice to be able
to, but there are patent laws (as even MS is finding out with thier SQL
server product) that protect the inventors rights.  So in the final
analysis..i think I trust Redhat's informed legal opinion on such
matters, and their good business sense, to leave out products that might
lead to litigation, or leave out products that will hamper their support
business, which is the business they are in after all.


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