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Codec buddy and Free software



Hi

When the earlier discussions about codec buddy (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/FeatureCodecBuddy) in Fedora came up, the board decided on the Fluendo. This is not a very ideal solution since it promotes proprietary software and except for the MP3 plugin is also a commercial solution. However the decision was in favor of this as this was considered the only safe legal choice at that time in comparison rather than pointing to third party repositories.

After the decision was made, there has a recent supreme court case in between MS vs AT&T ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._AT&T). This ruling in essence weakens software patents and holders of U.S. software patents cannot enforcing those patents in other countries anymore unless they also hold a patent in other regions if they allow it.

It appears as a result of this decision we might be able to point to a third party repository as a alternative to the Fluendo codecs. We had a long discussion in Fedora Project Board list before and there has been no consensus so far in this issue even assuming this is a legally valid solution. There was questions raised about whether this violates the GPL license and I have received clarification from FSF that it would not (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FreeSoftwareAnalysis/FSF).

I would like to get comments on whether folks here are favorable to pointing to a third party repository from codec buddy (with appropriate warnings and disclaimers). If this is considered something we wanted to do we will consult with Red Hat legal to verify that is a legally safe choice for us. Comments?

Rahul


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