Mailing List Archived Message #61

From: "Roderick Klein" <> Full Headers
Undecoded message
Subject: Re: [cwmm-dev] CWMM testing so far with SMplayer and mplayer combined...
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2024 21:46:08 +0100
To: CWMM Developers Mailing List <>

On 18-02-24 20:40, Dave Yeo wrote:
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.

I called at the time and also the decoder you needed to pay. But they did not go after free software such as Linux distro's. Even a small company such as Mensys at time had to pay for an MP3 decoder. I think the one time price you had pay 100.000 Dollar...

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.

Valid point but also left out because of the unknown. If other patents are still valid, we do not know.  In genereal I just consider audio and video codecs a patent landmine field.


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.

Indeed one codec is free for usage in the browser? I do not know if this includes stand alone media players.

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,

The US I think has the biggest issue with low quality software patents. This includes video codecs. I once talked ta guy from the JPF board and he says just like with medication certain video codecs, with small changes get re-patented after an old patent has expired.
This website shows the extreme cases:

That said the EU its patent system also has pretty louzy examples
of patents that are to obvious and should have never been granted in the first place.

Lewis is hosting mirrors that contain licensed

If hosting the codecs can be a problem since 2rosenthals and Arca Noae is not a none profit :-) That said the changes are small of getting caught. But it could be an expensive endavour...

Also see scroll down to the Patent
mini-faq, seems the problems happen when companies try making money
using patented technologies.

I called when I worked on eCS severeal companies about licensing audio/video. And the problem is indeed if you include a patented in a commercial product, they will expect you to pay for it. I think hobbes, shows why its not an issue to provide to host video players if no money is made with it :-)


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