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Re: MPlayer

On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 12:50:00AM -0700, William Ballard wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 09:21:40AM +0200, Sam Hocevar wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 20, 2004, Carlos Laviola wrote:

> > > As mentioned before in the thread, mplayer can't be included in Debian
> > > because large portions of code it relies upon, even if they're
> > > released under a free license(http://ffmpeg.sf.net) are based on, or
> > > similar to, patented algorithms, which makes it a problem for us. It's
> > > the same thing that keeps LAME out of Debian, as far as I know.

> >    A patent is not the end of the world; Debian only refrains from
> > distributing patented software if the patent is actually actively
> > enforced (such as the MP3 encoding patents in the LAME case). IMHO
> > ffmpeg is not really troublesome, because it does not include MP3
> > encoding or AAC encoding/decoding functions.

> Given what's going on in the world: kids getting sued on Napster, and 
> projectionists wearing night vision goggles, MPlayer just doesn't pass 
> the "smell test."  Right now no one notices it, but it will get totally 
> smacked around like a redheaded stepchild as soon as they do.

This is scaremongering, and is no basis for deciding whether to
distribute a piece of software in the archive.  There is a big
difference between exercising due caution, and cowering in fear at the
spectre of a lawsuit.  I trust that the ftp-masters simply haven't had
the time necessary to review the current mplayer situation with the
detail that it warrants.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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