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Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 17:20:49 -0400

    Well, OK:  mplayer supports some proprietary codecs but I don't see how
    this encourage it's use.

To encourage their use means to take steps likely to lead more people
to use them.  For instance, to publicize their existence (unless they
are so well known that nearly all computer users have heard of them

Does the mplayer site include a list of non-free codecs?  Does it say
where to get them?  That would encourage people to install them.

      And second:  For video *encoding* only codecs
    with a GPL compatible implementation are supported.

That is a good policy, as far as it goes.

The non-free codecs that I'm talking about are the ones that are
binary-only (or those that have non-free licenses; but I am not sure
that case occurs).  I don't see any ethical problem in distributing
programs that are patented or illegal in certain countries, as long
as their liceses are free.  Those laws may be unjust, but they
are not the program's fault.

The problem occurs when the developers of software don't respect
the users' essential freedom.  If they don't provide source code,
users effectively can't use the binary in freedom.

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