Mailing List Archived Message #60

From: "Dave Yeo" <> Full Headers
Undecoded message
Subject: Re: [cwmm-dev] CWMM testing so far with SMplayer and mplayer combined...
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2024 11:40:10 -0800
To: CWMM Developers Mailing List <>

On 02/18/24 10:29 AM, Roderick Klein wrote:
On 18-02-24 17:39, Dave Yeo wrote:
On 02/18/24 06:12 AM, Roderick Klein wrote:

AIUI, neither SMPlayer nor MPlayer is problematic to distribute, only
some of the codecs.

That is my concern. What codecs can we include and what we cannot
include ?

Can we include the MP3 codec, I seem to remember we did not include in
ArcaOS as we where not certain if we could. closed up
shop. But how is that with other audio and video codecs ?

I don't think the codecs are a concern as they're mostly used for

Sorry this is not how it works for IP licensing schemes for video/audio
codecs, some of them, but most do not make a difference betweeen
decoding or encoding for licensing purposes.

While true, the IP license holders most never go after individuals who decode, nor decoders in general. Witness the existence of FFMpeg.

Possible exceptions are the newest video codecs such as H265.
Perhaps don't include mencoder.exe if worried about encoding.

The orginal quickmotion and Windows 3.1 video codecs at the time we
started on MMOS/2 for ArcaOS where removed as well because of possible
patent issue's.

They're long out of patent protection.

Any patents that covered those have likely expired along with the MP3

MP3 is audio. not video, that is covered by different patents and
licenses... Such as Indeo and Quicktime. What pattened is applicable to
MPLAYER I guess nobody knows.

It's still a codec, whether video or audio doesn't matter.
The last release of Indeo was in 2000, so any of the patents should have expired. It was also free of charge to be used.
Quicktime is more of a container, Apple calls it a framework, you could have a QuickTime file containing nothing more then a bmp of the ArcaOS logo. You could also have a QuickTime file containing an H264 video where you, in theory, need a license.
Looking quickly, I don't see any cases of a container causing legal problems, besides copyright when someone used the same source code.

Why not:

1. Split the codecs out into their own package.

I am not an mplayer expert. But I just have a single mplayer exe file,
no codec directory with files. But if you split off the codecs what are
you left with ?

MPlayer currently includes FFmpeg which by itself covers most codecs,
demuxers etc, so there is little need for the old Windows codecs.
What is possibly illegal is the code to crack DVD's. Whether anyone
cares now a days, I don't know. Some Linux's used to download from
Europe to avoid problems. At least Mint doesn't seem to do that anymore.

The big difference is that most Linux distro's are available free of
charge. ArcaOS is a commercial project and that changes the whole

Well that's an argument for not including MPlayer or FFmpeg on the ArcaOS ISO or advertising that it supports ripping DVD's and such.
As it is, ArcaOS includes the Mozilla browsers that can play licensed codecs if a user does "yum install ffmpeg-libs" (might be a legacy package now) as well as Qt5, which enables various media players/web browsers to also use licensed codecs.
Seems that if Arca Noae doesn't actually ship any licensed codecs, just directions on how to install them along with a disclaimer that the user has to check local laws, it would be the user installing the codecs that are responsible. Helps too if the codecs are hosted somewhere other then America, though as it is, Lewis is hosting mirrors that contain licensed codecs.
Also see scroll down to the Patent mini-faq, seems the problems happen when companies try making money using patented technologies.

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