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From dlehn@vt.edu Mon, 4 Oct 1999 22:32:16 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 22:32:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: David I. Lehn dlehn@vt.edu
Subject: [Livid-dev] Red Hat Chat

I asked about DVD support during the Monday night chat on chat.cnn.com
with Donnie Barnes, Director of Technical Projects at Red Hat. My
connection to the site went dead shortly after this so I don't know if
there was any more info on this topic.



<CNN_Host> Question from: <taaz> #auditorium -> Donnie: Will RedHat
help with, or ever include, Linux DVD video playback support
considering there are tricky legal issues with the open source nature
of the project? 

<Donnie> That remains to be seen. Currently the only way to do DVD
playback is via closed source players *only*. That means we could
never make a player a part of the base distribution, but could
possibly include one on our vendor CD (a disk set of thir d party demo
and free apps). 

<Donnie> If an open source player is released and we can sort out the
legal issues, we'd be more than happy to ship one. I'd run out and
buy a new laptop with a DVD player immediately. :) 



-dave
---
David I. Lehn <dlehn@vt.edu> | http://www.corepower.com/~dlehn/
Computer Engineering Graduate @ Virginia Tech in sunny Blacksburg, VA

From pvolcko@concentric.net Tue, 5 Oct 1999 08:41:08 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 08:41:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: pvolcko@concentric.net pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] Re: [LinuxDVD] Red Hat Chat

Interesting you should ask this question of him. LSDVD made a proposal to Red
Hat for financial support, but as he said Red Hat doesn't do closed source
apps and could only offer placement on the Vendor disc once we had something
made. 

Sadly, if the livid project is successful in making an open source player of
some kind I don't think we will be seeing them (or any other distro) putting
it in the distro. At least not until the DVD Forum and all the other
technology licensors sign off on it, which is a long shot.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD

On Mon, 4 Oct 1999, David I. Lehn wrote:

> I asked about DVD support during the Monday night chat on chat.cnn.com
> with Donnie Barnes, Director of Technical Projects at Red Hat. My
> connection to the site went dead shortly after this so I don't know if
> there was any more info on this topic.
> 
> 
> 
> <CNN_Host> Question from: <taaz> #auditorium -> Donnie: Will RedHat
> help with, or ever include, Linux DVD video playback support
> considering there are tricky legal issues with the open source nature
> of the project? 
> 
> <Donnie> That remains to be seen. Currently the only way to do DVD
> playback is via closed source players *only*. That means we could
> never make a player a part of the base distribution, but could
> possibly include one on our vendor CD (a disk set of thir d party demo
> and free apps). 
> 
> <Donnie> If an open source player is released and we can sort out the
> legal issues, we'd be more than happy to ship one. I'd run out and
> buy a new laptop with a DVD player immediately. :) 
> 
> 
> 
> -dave
> ---
> David I. Lehn <dlehn@vt.edu> | http://www.corepower.com/~dlehn/
> Computer Engineering Graduate @ Virginia Tech in sunny Blacksburg, VA
> 
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> LinuxDVD maillist - LinuxDVD@linuxdvd.corepower.com
> http://linuxdvd.corepower.com/mailman/listinfo/linuxdvd
> 

From shane_smit@calderasystems.com Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:53:25 -0600
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:53:25 -0600
From: Shane Smit shane_smit@calderasystems.com
Subject: [Livid-dev] Re: [LinuxDVD] Red Hat Chat

pvolcko@concentric.net wrote:
> 
> Sadly, if the livid project is successful in making an open source player of
> some kind I don't think we will be seeing them (or any other distro) putting
> it in the distro. At least not until the DVD Forum and all the other
> technology licensors sign off on it, which is a long shot.
> 
> Paul Volcko
> LSDVD

I don't agree. Every linux freak on the planet wants to be able to play
his DVDs without booting into an evil M$ product, and the distributors
know this (I would know :). I could say that even an alpha of this kind
of project would be included in our distribution. It is very important
for us to support all kinds of hardware, and there is a huge bottleneck
in DVD support. Do not think that these messages, or this project, is
unimportant in the least.

-Shane Smit
Caldera Systems, Inc.

From pvolcko@concentric.net Tue, 5 Oct 1999 12:05:07 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 12:05:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: pvolcko@concentric.net pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] Re: [LinuxDVD] Red Hat Chat

> > Sadly, if the livid project is successful in making an open source player of
> > some kind I don't think we will be seeing them (or any other distro) putting
> > it in the distro. At least not until the DVD Forum and all the other
> > technology licensors sign off on it, which is a long shot.
> > 
> > Paul Volcko
> > LSDVD
> 
> I don't agree. Every linux freak on the planet wants to be able to play
> his DVDs without booting into an evil M$ product, and the distributors
> know this (I would know :). I could say that even an alpha of this kind
> of project would be included in our distribution. It is very important
> for us to support all kinds of hardware, and there is a huge bottleneck
> in DVD support. Do not think that these messages, or this project, is
> unimportant in the least.
> 
> -Shane Smit
> Caldera Systems, Inc.


It's not unimportant. Not by a long shot. But for a distro to include this
"officially" there come into play a lot of legal and licensing issues. If the
distro is made by a corporate entity the stakes get all the more higher for
that company in including this kind of software. 

Putting the reverse engineering of CSS and DVD-Forum stuff aside... there are
patents on MPEG-2 and AC-3 technologies. For an individual or a small group
(as we have here) to create a decoder or encoder for these technologies and
make it public is one thing. There has been a lot of discussion about those
issues already. We have been fortunate that Dolby hasn't gone to anyone and
tried to get their money for the ac-3 decoder thats available. 

Something that has been brushed over kind of, though, is that there is a
difference in the eyes of these licensors between a decoder and the use of
that decoder in a player software application. MPEG-2 and AC-3 both have
"system" level licensing where the royalties start kicking in. 

If a distro added this to the offical list of apps in it's image (especially
if they are making any kind of money on it or what it is included with) you
can be positiive that the second Dolby or MPEGLA hear about it there will be
some lawyers making some phone calls and tracking down who to start squeezing
for money. Not to mention a distro company would make a much "jucier" target
than a lowly group of developers who aren't making any kind of real money most
likely.

I think that it is good to see support from the distro companies and
non-profit distro organizations (I'm not sure where Debian falls in that
scheme), but at the same time I think distros would be well advised to either
keep this stuff out of their official distributions unless they are willing to
get into some legal hassles.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD

PS... all of that was for a free and unlicensed app. I think it would make
a lot of sense for a distro company/organization to help fund a project to
make a fully licensed and legal player application (such as LSDVD intends to
be).

From aholtzma@ess4.engr.UVic.CA Tue, 5 Oct 1999 09:19:04 -0700
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 09:19:04 -0700
From: Aaron Holtzman aholtzma@ess4.engr.UVic.CA
Subject: [Livid-dev] Re: [LinuxDVD] Red Hat Chat

It would seem that Shane Smit (shane_smit@calderasystems.com) said:
> I don't agree. Every linux freak on the planet wants to be able to play
> his DVDs without booting into an evil M$ product, and the distributors
> know this (I would know :). I could say that even an alpha of this kind
> of project would be included in our distribution. It is very important
> for us to support all kinds of hardware, and there is a huge bottleneck
> in DVD support. Do not think that these messages, or this project, is
> unimportant in the least.
> 
What he's trying to say is that regardless of demand, our hacked together 
implementation is potentially on shaky legal ground in the US at least. 
I don't think Red Hat would want to touch that with a ten foot cattle prod. 

cheers,
aaron

From pvolcko@concentric.net Tue, 5 Oct 1999 12:46:39 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 12:46:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: pvolcko@concentric.net pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] Re: [LinuxDVD] Red Hat Chat

> I think that it is good to see support from the distro companies and
> non-profit distro organizations (I'm not sure where Debian falls in that
> scheme), but at the same time I think distros would be well advised to either
> keep this stuff out of their official distributions unless they are willing to
> get into some legal hassles.

Sorry... meant Caldera in there. I've just spent the last week installing
three different distros and.. well... my apologies.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD

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