[MPlayer-users] Legality of binary codecs

Rich Felker dalias at aerifal.cx
Thu May 26 23:39:07 CEST 2005

On Thu, May 26, 2005 at 02:29:21PM -0700, Gregor Richards wrote:
> What is the legality status on the array of binary codecs provided at 
> MPlayerHQ.hu?  I am particularly interested in Windows Media codecs in a 
> business environment (that is, with intranet distribution), in the 
> United States prmarily but also worldwide if possible.  Are the codecs 
> legal to users who have valid copies of some specific license, such as 
> an OS license with Microsoft?  Are they legal outside of the US?  If the 
> binary codecs provided aren't legal for use, is there any legal way to 
> play Windows Media content?  (Not just ASF/WM* files, but the Windows 
> Media codec itself)
> Thanks for any response.

Except for wmv3 (aka wmv9) and the corresponding audio formats, most
windows media files can be played without any binary codecs. As for
use of the binary codecs, you really need to ask a lawyer about this I
think. We're not qualified to answer. For what it's worth, my personal
opinion is that as long as it's possible to download the files from
M$'s website, you're free to use them with whatever program you like
as long as you don't redistribute them.


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