Re: media files

Hi J.B.,

May I ask whether you're affiliated with any organisation (and
thus speaking from a position of authority), or whether these are
your personal feelings?

As I said below, I don't understand all the issues, and if you
have some special skills in the domain, it would be interesting
to have your input. However, in my experience the field of
patents is one where there are lots of uninformed or flawed views
going round, and I'd like to make sure that we have correct

J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:
> On this wiki, you'll find DaveNeary saying:
> >Perhaps I don't understand all the issues, but don't we already ship
> >codecs for mp3? Plus, the point is to showcase the GNOME desktop, and
> >a big part of that is interoperability with existing 'de facto'
> >standards like .doc, .xls, .ppt and .mp3
> As for interoperating with MP3 files, that's just not possible in 
> software patent encumbered countries like the US because there is no 
> free software MP3 player (the ostensibly free MP3 programs can't be 
> distributed without paying the MP3 patent license fee).

This may be a legal fact (I don't know) - I wasn't aware that
there was an MP3 patent licence fee. Nevertheless, the fact is
that we *do* ship Free Software which can play MP3s and Mpegs 
(GStreamer based players). It is also a fact that many people
will not consider free software unless we can present a clear
path away from proprietary formats which includes cohabitation
with old formats. That is why it is so important for OO.o to
support .doc, .xls and .ppt, why there is a .psd plug-in for the
GIMP, and why the Exchange connector for Evolution is so
important. People need to be able to say "now I have the choice". 

That is what GNOME is about, and that is what I believe the
LiveCD is intended for - it is intended to showcase the GNOME
desktop environment, to show what Free Software can do, and part
of what GNOME can do is read your existing files.

> But some are not concerned 
> with software freedom or (in this particular case) using the best 
> available technology.

I resent that. You're mixing up two entirely distinct issues,
software freedom and patent law. I am not concerned about
patents, in general. However, that does not mean that I don't
care about free software.

File formats are not software.

> Clearly the parent post is calling for feedback, but it's hard to know 
> what to say about the project when one doesn't know what the goals are.

At this stage, your tone is verging on rude. It appears you want
to get into an argument (or at least, that you're trying to
belittle the work that others have already done on this). Please
try to adopt a less confrontational tone in future.


        David Neary,
        Lyon, France
   E-Mail: bolsh gimp org

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]