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OT: Media format patents and commercial installations



Hi all,

I am interested in building FC5 based installations for commercial sale. One of the requirements is the capability to play back media of as many types as possible (eg using mplayer/xine/vlc). While Fedora core/extras can't contain patent encumbered nor non-open source software, in general terms is there anything to stop me selling such a box ?

eg. for mpeg2 / 4 playback I could use the various libraries available. Does anyone know if other parties have been able to negotiate with the patent holders (I guess MPEG) individual licenses for linux machines ? Is it hideously expensive ?

Unfortunately, while most media content that I would need to be played is made available from outside sources as mpeg2 files or DVDVideo discs (non-encrypted), I can definitely see the advantages in the non-patented formats eg ogg / ogm. Losing quality in converting to different formats wouldn't seem to make sense ?

From the other viewpoint, is there mature ogg/ogm open-source plugins for adobe premiere or wm coders that I could supply to these outside content creators (on winOS) and hence have the original media in open format to start with ?

I welcome any comments from people who may have dabbled in this area.

Thanks, DaveT.


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