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[Ring] Ring and proprietary codecs

From: Thomas Daede
Subject: [Ring] Ring and proprietary codecs
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2017 22:28:08 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.2.1

I recently noticed that GNU Ring currently depends on several
proprietary video codecs:

* H.264
* H.263

The usage of those codecs (as implemented by ffmpeg) requires payment of
royalties for use. It also prevents its inclusion in Linux distros such
as Fedora [1]. However, Ring also supports free video codecs, such as
VP8. I think it would make sense to:

* Make dependence on proprietary codecs optional
* Turn off proprietary codecs by default

In addition, as far as I can tell, Ring does not need compatibility with
legacy software. Especially because good alternatives are available, I
think it would make sense to not support proprietary codecs at all, and
instead rely on a baseline of VP8 and Opus (or VP9 and Opus).



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