[MPlayer-users] Legality of binary codecs
kichigai at comcast.net
Thu May 26 23:48:44 CEST 2005
On May 26, 2005, at 16.29, 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
I'm no expert on this, but I'm pretty sure the Windows Media codecs
are built into FFMpeg, which is an open source project. If memory
serves, I believe that the codecs are reverse engineered, not derived
from Microsoft codec software. FFMPEG is covered under the Gnu LGPL
and has components covered under the GPL.
> Are the codecs legal to users who have valid copies of some
> specific license, such as an OS license with Microsoft?
I would assume so. There is a Windows version of MPlayer. Unless
there is some kind of contract between you and Microsoft where you
state that you will exclusively use Microsoft's audio/video software,
this should be 100% legal with just about any license you hold.
> Are they legal outside of the US?
Well, unless the particular country has a law against them, or
software patents where MS holds the patents to the WMA/WMV codecs,
they should be.
> If the binary codecs provided aren't legal for use, is there any
> legal way to play Windows Media content?
Windows Media Player. There are (of course) Windows versions, as well
as Macintosh versions. VLC also has WMA/WMV playback capability and
is available on practically every platform imaginable.
> (Not just ASF/WM* files, but the Windows Media codec itself)
I'm not sure I quite understand this. Are you inquiring as to where
one can obtain the Windows Media codecs themselves legally? Well, as
states above, I believe that the FFMPEG codecs are 100% legal, so you
should have no problems with that.
Again: I'm not lawyer, and this is all from what I remember, so I
wouldn't take this as law.
> Thanks for any response.
> - Gregor Richards
> Open Source Software Build Engineer,
> Intel Corp
> MPlayer-users mailing list
> MPlayer-users at mplayerhq.hu
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