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Re: codecs and totem

"Denver Gingerich" <denver@ossguy.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 21 May 2008 18:32:39 -0400 Daniel Dickinson <cshore@wightman.ca> wrote:
> > On Wed, 21 May 2008 12:25:12 +0200
> > "Giacomo A. Catenazzi" <cate@cateee.net> wrote:
> > Not unless you're using a codec you got outside debian.  Debian can
> > play non-CSS DVD's without adding anything outside main, in which case
> > you are using entirely free software and have no royalties to pay
> I think the MPEG-2 patent holders would disagree [1].  From what I can
> tell, MPEG-2 is still covered by numerous patents, at least for a few
> more years.  Most DVDs use MPEG-2 although the standard allows for
> MPEG-1, but with a maximum resolution of 352x288 [2] so most DVDs
> don't use it.  MPEG-1 would be much safer than MPEG-2 patent-wise [3].
> Which package in Debian main includes MPEG-2 support?  It sounds like
> a bug should be reported on this if the Debian people wish to remain
> entirely free of patent-encumberance.  However, if Debian wishes to
> take a more pragmatic approach, such as allowing in patent-infringing
> software where the patents are not being actively litigated, then
> perhaps inclusion of MPEG-2 support in main is ok.

This has been the de-facto position of Debian, since to do otherwise
would eliminate almost all software in Debian.

> The Ubuntu people have chosen to include support for a variety of
> patented codecs through ffmpeg, but they don't ship it on the CD, only
> through their mirrors [4].

I believe that ffmpeg supports codecs which are being actively
litigated, so it is more risky to distribute.

Walter Landry

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