[FFmpeg-user] ffmpeg issue

Phil Turmel philip at turmel.org
Sun Dec 11 00:25:15 CET 2011

On 12/10/2011 06:03 PM, Phil Rhodes wrote:
>> Let's see.  FFmpeg developer's give away code that makes it possible for you to break the law in some jurisdictions, and you don't think they are helping enough?
> Oh, grow the (*#$ up. No, they're not helping, they're being deliberately abstruse about it.

You trimmed the part about being sued into poverty, or jailed.  Pretty important, I think.

> This is a media handling utility that doesn't, in many cases, have the ability to handle one of the world's most common and popular media formats. That's pretty damned stupid.

The algorithms are patented.  In the US, you need a license to use it.  Many countries don't allow patents on intangibles like software algorithms, so developers who want to support them must jump through these hoops.

> Does linux have the ability to play DVDs yet? And I don't mean "has the ability after you write it yourself," I mean, can I install Ubuntu, stick a DVD in the drive, and play it?

Some distributions, like Ubuntu, allow this after you take responsibility for your local laws.  My children have done this with their laptops, which came with Windows and pre-package DVD playback software.  So they own a paid license, and can turn on the restricted repository in good faith.  With the restricted software repository, and VLC, DVDs play just fine.  No compiling required.  Ubuntu has worked this way for a few years now.  In the latest versions, the restricted repository is just a checkbox in the application manager.

Ubuntu doesn't put the restricted software on the install CD, obviously.


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