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Re: Bug#349693: ITP: gst-fluendo-mp3 -- MP3 decoder plugin for GStreamer

On Wednesday 25 January 2006 17:40, Joe Wreschnig <piman@debian.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 17:08 +1100, Russell Coker wrote:
> > MP3 software does not belong in Debian/main.  Unlike many patents the
> > MPEG patents probably have a good basis.
> To make it clear, this is a *radical* divergence from our previous
> position. If other distributions start shipping the Fluendo plugin, it
> is also a major step backwards in usability.

Have we consulted a lawyer about this?

> > As far as I am aware OGG media is a good alternative to MPEG in every
> > technical measure.  OGG is not as well supported by 3rd party devices (no
> > support in iPod for example) but there are devices which support it
> > (iRiver as an example - incidentally the iRiver gives better sound
> > quality according to the experts and allows recording so is better than
> > the iPod anyway).
> It's clear to me you've never had to use an iRiver's Ogg support. It
> fails outside a limited bitrate range, drains battery faster, does not
> read metadata, and is not available on all devices. Newer iRivers also
> use a proprietary communications protocol that is not yet supported in
> Debian. Finally, the recording is MP3 only.

iRiver will have more incentive to support OGG well if Linux distributions 
take a stand on this issue.

> > By continuing to support MPEG in Debian/main we are decreasing the
> > support of OGG.
> By continuing to support MS Word .doc in Debian/main, we are decreasing
> the support of OpenDocument. So what? Users have millions, billions of
> files in these formats. If we can support them, we should.

If there was a patent on the MS file formats then I would advocate removing 
support from Debian.

> > This also applies to mpc123.
> The Musepack developers are of the opinion that they no longer infringe
> on any patents, as the algorithm has diverged wildly from the MPEG-1
> Layer 2 algorithm upon which it is based. It's on at least as good legal
> ground as every other audio format in Debian. So please leave it out of
> this discussion.

Do we have any legal advice on this?

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