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[bongo-devel] Re: bongo.el --- flexible and usable media player

From: Daniel Brockman
Subject: [bongo-devel] Re: bongo.el --- flexible and usable media player
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 09:57:45 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

[Adding address@hidden to CC.]

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> Actually, my concern is about license problems, not copyright
> problems.  I don't know whether mplayer has copyright problems, but
> the problem it certainly has is that it includes non-free software.

Okay.  I misunderstood, then.  It also appears mplayer has
improved with regards to the copyright problems (see below).

Daniel Jensen <address@hidden> writes:

>> In other news, RMS suggested we rip out the mplayer backend
>> code altogether, due to mplayer's many copyright problems.
>> He made the point that free media players ``is a major area of
>> weakness of will in our community, so strengthening the demand
>> for freedom in that area is important.''  Therefore, he thinks
>> we should support ``only players that are 100% free software.''
> I support the general idea, but in this case I'm confused. It seems to
> me that mplayer really is 100% free. It is listed in the Free Software
> Directory, and GNU includes software similar to Bongo with mplayer
> support. The Wikipedia article on mplayer mentions that it's
> "completely free". Is there something I'm missing?

I thought Richard was referring to the apparent ``weakness
of will'' in mplayer developers towards sorting out the
copyright problems that prevented Debian (among others) from
distributing mplayer in the past.

Richard, are you referring to the fact that mplayer can load
binary (non-free) codecs?

>> I cannot other than sympathize with that sentiment.  The fact
>> that it appears almost impossible to install mplayer in Debian
>> does indicate a ``weakness of will'' on the part of the mplayer
>> developers who won't sort out the copyright problems.
> I realise that mplayer has been excluded from many distributions in
> the past and present. Isn't that about to change, though? I read that
> Debian will include mplayer in future releases.

That may well be true.  I didn't even realize that mplayer
has been in Debian unstable for over two months now.

Perhaps they are sorting out the problems.  The Debian and
mplayer FAQ <>
has some information on the subject.

>     I will ask Daniel Jensen whether he is prepared to assign
>     copyright to the FSF.
> Thanks.

He is.  Please contact Daniel Jensen <address@hidden>.

Daniel Brockman <address@hidden>

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