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Re: Bug#176267: ITP: mplayer -- Mplayer is a full-featured audioand video player for UN*X like systems

On Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 03:43:24AM -0500, Don Armstrong wrote:
> I'm sure you've read about the libmpeg2 problems I found after 5
> minutes of looking through the code.[2] As far as I am aware, they
> still haven't been fixed.
> Obviously, if after such a short bit of searching, that such a problem
> can be found brings a strong suspicion that there are other problems
> lurking within the codebase. 

I think you use the wrong example here.  That part of the GPL is
widely ignored in favour of per-project changelogs.  (This is why I no
longer use the GPL on my own code, btw.)  As an indicator of licensing
irregularities it's pretty much useless.

> Whoever takes it upon themselves to package mplayer for possible
> inclusion in Debian will most likely have to:
> 1) convince debian-legal that they have audited the codebase and
> determined that everything in the codebase is legal for Debian and
> it's distributors to distribute.

I haven't dug up the relevant history, but I gather that it had
been claimed before that mplayer's copyright licenses were okay
when they weren't.  If this is indeed the case, then this is a
reasonable requirement.

> 2) inform debian-legal (and/or the DD's in general) about any patents
> that mplayer may or may not be infringing upon so an informed decision
> can be made.

I don't think that this is reasonable.  Are you prepared to do the same
for gcc?  It's not possible to be sure that _any_ program is unencumbered
by patents.  We can only respond to patent threats as and when we become
aware of them.

Richard Braakman

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