[Sugar-devel] Freeworld codecs
bernie at codewiz.org
Mon Jan 17 22:06:47 EST 2011
On Sun, 2011-01-16 at 22:30 -0500, Kevin Mark wrote:
> As a somewhat tangential question:
> I recall using a version of CeibalJam and noted it had support for various file
> formats that in the US might be considered non-free like mp3. This was possible
> because it included a static version of mplayer. Does this program use the same
> approach and might it include support for non-free formats (for the US)?
There's a subtle difference between "non-free", a problem in how the
code is being licensed by the copyright holder, and "patent encumbered",
a problem affecting some legislations -- not in the software itself.
Analogously, cryptographic software was considered a "munition" by the
United States government until not long ago. The problem was finally
solved by pressuring the government to fix the law for good, not by
rejecting strong cryptography altogether and calling it "non-free" :-)
The term "freeworld code" helps clear this misunderstanding by
suggesting that its usage is unrestricted in nations which are free from
software patents and other restrictions. Hopefully, most OLPC
deployments fall under this category.
> I assume it might affect the ability to host such things on sugarlabs.org?
We're allowed to host all the codecs needed by Totem and Gnash on
*.sugarlabs.org. I see no problem in accepting activities which include
the same codecs, but it would be better to reuse the codecs provided by
the system through gstreamer. This would let each individual deployment
control which codecs to ship with their OS images.
// Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
\X/ Sugar Labs - http://sugarlabs.org/
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