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

From: David Hansen
Subject: Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 02:24:41 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 17:20:49 -0400 Richard Stallman wrote:

>     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
> anyway).

Well, AFAIK the only binary only codecs of practical relevance are newer
realplayer codecs.  The rest are more or less historical codecs not used
anymore.  I don't know if "nearly all computer users" know about

> 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.


BTW, mplayer is listed in the `Free Software Directory' on
With your understanding of "encouragement" this encourages the use of

>       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.

I was a bit misguided by the "don't use gif pictures" article on  If patents and other unjust laws aren't reasons to count a
codec as "non free" mplayer isn't that bad anymore (from your
perspective).  In the early days the binary codecs were essential to
have a useful program but this is not the case anymore.

mplayer (or libavcodec) improved a lot in the past years.  E.g. DVD
playback and playback of most (i think all not by DRM crippled) Windows
Media Files is *free*.

These people have done a lot for your goals (maybe with the `wrong'
motives, but why care?).


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