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MPlayer site "Closed for patent infringement", Other free multimedia player are next !
PatchWorKs
post Mar 15 2005, 07:59
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QUOTE
This site has been shut down because of numerous patent violations in MPlayer. The other free software multimedia players are next.

The European commission has just passed its directive on software patents, violating democratic rules and procedures to the sole benefit of big non-European corporation and Ireland and to the detriment of small and medium sized businesses (which comprise 99% of the European software industry) and free software.

The European parliament will now be taking the last stand against software patents in a voting for which an absolute majority is needed. Such a majority is hard to come by in a parliament with a low attendance level.

But not all is lost yet as long as you decide it is time to make a difference and take action. This is our last opportunity to fend off software patents worldwide, there will be no second chance for the foreseeable future. Contact your local EU representatives and educate them why software patents are bad and why they must attend that parliament session to vote against them. For in-depth information and starting points to get active visit software patent page of the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) and NoSoftwarePatents.com.

Wish us luck, we will need it.
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atici
post Mar 15 2005, 08:14
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This is sad news. Mplayer was one of the really good players out there. Why not host the project on a server at another country?

QUOTE
... violating democratic rules ...


Yeah right. Makes me wonder what the people would choose if there were a referendum on this issue.


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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post Mar 15 2005, 08:16
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QUOTE (atici @ Mar 15 2005, 08:14 AM)
Yeah right. Makes me wonder what the people would choose if there were a referendum on this issue.
*


What should they vote for if they don't know what all this is about? This decision got almost no mass media coverage...
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cartman
post Mar 15 2005, 08:20
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Well MPlayer project is not really closed (yet) but with all these patent stuff going on in EU it will be challenging to keep up projects like MPlayer.


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atici
post Mar 15 2005, 08:35
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QUOTE (Benjamin Lebsanft @ Mar 15 2005, 02:16 AM)
What should they vote for if they don't know what all this is about? This decision got almost no mass media coverage...
*

Well, people have an obligation to get the facts so that they could vote on this issue. And mass media have their own agenda. I don't think mass media's influence normally helps people form a free opinion.

In any case all this spirit of freedom of ideas (which is what software patent issue is about) is very much against to the principles what most people hold dear. Just look at the intolerance shown towards websites with controversial material and the amazing effort put in by some governments to shut them down. This only shows there are some fundamental rights (like freedom of communication or freedom to use ideas) that are not yet recognized by the people and thus could not be recognized under democracy.

This post has been edited by atici: Mar 15 2005, 08:37


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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post Mar 15 2005, 08:47
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so what do you want to look this referendum like, "vote for or against software patents" ? Most people will say patents are good, everyone has the right to protect what he has created and vote yes. If the media (small or big, that's not important) doesn't cover the whole issue, people won't know about the bad things. Don't get me wrong, I think this would be the best idea to get real democracy but people will not vote unless they know what all this is about.

We had a similar problem in bavaria germany. the forests should become privatized. There was a referendum against it and due to no media coverage and misinformation only 9.3 of the neded ten percent voted against it. And I see the same happening if we had a referendum on software patents.
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spoon
post Mar 15 2005, 10:15
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Which Patents are threatened against it? (or is it a case of EU passing this software patents and site pulled inadvance)?


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jkwarras
post Mar 15 2005, 10:36
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This is a real shame, and maybe the first of many closing projects if the law is finally approuved.

About media coverage, if it wasn't for the internet nothing will be known because no mass media has covered anything about this issue, because it's seen as unimportant for the average european citizen. People (including me sometime ago) don't understand what these decisions can really mean to them....'software patents....brr, what the hell is that? economic/commercial stuff, change the channel baby...' wink.gif


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seanyseansean
post Mar 15 2005, 10:46
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But it's not closed, like many sites they're showing what might happen should the EU ratify software patents. Just click on the link at the bottom of the page!
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firewire_666
post Mar 15 2005, 11:31
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Yes, software patents are indeed very bad mad.gif
Here in germany the two parties, which are governing this country currently, are mostly against such patents. But companies like Microsoft (the thing in Denmark with the destroyal of severral hundred jobs) threaten countries to do such horrible things in parliament, as unumployment risess every month in many european countries unsure.gif
As i understood, the events which led to this first passing of this bill were somewhat strange:
some ministers which had no clue about this subject (no it-specialists; those were not present) simply voted because of several reasons:
the onegoing discussion about this subject took already too long, the danger of huge job losses in enterprises who would leave european countries without such laws and the huge lobbying of those companies in parliament.

In short:
It is very difficult to change the direction in this matter, as people responsable for those laws will not listen, and those who were against it (parties & individual politicians) have too less influence anymore. This way, the politicians think that they can strenghten the it-sector in europe, in order to have a leading role in world wide business - but they don't see all negative drawbacks for opensource & small companies. Almost everybody i know in university and my friends are totaly against it - but actually we don't know how to protest in a way, which realy could change things ohmy.gif

my two €-cents crying.gif
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Latexxx
post Mar 15 2005, 14:03
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The page isn't really closed and EU hasn't yet accepted software patents (There is still one parliament hearing to come). This is only a publicity stunt.
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jkwarras
post Mar 15 2005, 14:06
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QUOTE (firewire_666 @ Mar 15 2005, 02:31 AM)
As i understood, the events which led to this first passing of this bill were somewhat strange:

For sure, you could read about all that on http://www.ffii.org, and it seems that the procedure was somehow not really 'standard'.

Living in Brussels and knowing at least a little about how this all works, let me tell you that this...

QUOTE (firewire_666 @ Mar 15 2005, 02:31 AM)
some ministers which had no clue about this subject (no it-specialists; those were not present) simply voted because of several reasons:
the onegoing discussion about this subject took already too long, the danger of huge job losses in enterprises who would leave european countries without such laws and the huge lobbying of those companies in parliament.


...is almost for sure one of the main reason of what happened, and what could happens if it's finallya pprouved. I will really put some strenght in the 'huge lobbying of those companies in parliament'.

What really amkes me angry is the fact that a large part of the EU countries and their national parlaments are against that law, but guess what? nobody is taking them into account... until now in the EU, government ignored citizen claims, now EU is ignoring national government claims.

This post has been edited by jkwarras: Mar 15 2005, 14:07


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guruboolez
post Mar 15 2005, 14:08
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QUOTE (Latexxx @ Mar 15 2005, 02:03 PM)
The page isn't really closed and EU hasn't yet accepted software patents (There is still one parliament hearing to come). This is only a publicity stunt.
*

I wondered why french websites didn't talked about recent changes in current law. So, I suppose that this topic could be considered as a troll, right?
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jkwarras
post Mar 15 2005, 14:12
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QUOTE (guruboolez @ Mar 15 2005, 05:08 AM)
So, I suppose that this topic could be considered as a troll, right?
*

I don't think so. The site does really says 'Closed for patent infringement', even if it's not. As many as said around here, the aim of the mplayer team is to let people know that this could happnes if it's finallly approuved. That's why the 'Enter the MPlayer homepage while it is still available.' at bottom of the page.


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guruboolez
post Mar 15 2005, 14:15
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QUOTE (jkwarras @ Mar 15 2005, 02:12 PM)
QUOTE (guruboolez @ Mar 15 2005, 05:08 AM)
So, I suppose that this topic could be considered as a troll, right?
*

I don't think so. The site does really says 'Closed for patent infringement', even if it's not.
*


If I understand correctly, a site is now closed because a webwaster said that something legal is illegal? Fair enough, if it amuses this guy. But what about "The other free software multimedia players are next."
It is trolling. Sorry...
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Gabriel
post Mar 15 2005, 14:37
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It is pure demonstration, nothing else. I dot see any trolling in that.

note: software patents will not change MPlayer's situation that much, as many MPEG patents are not software patents, but patents on technical processes, and thus already valid in Europe.
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guruboolez
post Mar 15 2005, 14:48
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QUOTE (Gabriel @ Mar 15 2005, 02:37 PM)
It is pure demonstration, nothing else. I dot see any trolling in that.
*

I don't see any demonstration. There are some risk to see strict laws on software patents in Europe. But there are risks, and only risks. In other words, a possibility. Currently, there are no software patents in Europe. And if tomorrow a new law is voted, we currently don't know what will be exactly voted.

The site is very affirmative. There's no demonstration at all. A demonstration supposes at least one hypothesis. An hypothesis is very different from an affirmation. And the webiste doesn't distinguish hypothesis from fact. It could be either trolling or error. I'd bet on trolling wink.gif

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DonP
post Mar 15 2005, 14:49
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There are, of course, complications to the issue..

If some guy or company invents a great new hardware gizmo he is entitled to patent protection, right? (with the usual implied, but not always followed, conditions that the invention is truly original and not obvious). Some of you guys just want free stuff and don't believe in IP protection at all, but hardware patents have long been the law so lets start there.

What if there is a choice of a pure hardware implementation or using upgradeable firmware.. firmware is better for the consumer if there are future improvements, but if there is no software protection he will not go that way.

I am more concerned about licensing policies like for mp3 that make relatively cheap for the mass market producers, but prohibitively expensive for a small scale guy just starting out.
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Gabriel
post Mar 15 2005, 15:11
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Currently, there are no software patents in Europe. And if tomorrow a new law is voted, we currently don't know what will be exactly voted.

But we know it. The text is finalized, and this is not just an hypothesis.

edit:
http://wiki.ffii.org/Cons050307Fr

This post has been edited by Gabriel: Mar 15 2005, 15:17
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guruboolez
post Mar 15 2005, 15:19
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QUOTE (Gabriel @ Mar 15 2005, 03:11 PM)
QUOTE
Currently, there are no software patents in Europe. And if tomorrow a new law is voted, we currently don't know what will be exactly voted.

But we know it. The text is finalized, and this is not just an hypothesis.
*


Right. It's finalized, but the text is not voted. I've read many time that the text is discuted another time (from zero or not, it doesn't really matter). It implies that modification are expected. And it doesn't mean that the text will be voted in the future. All implications are only hypothesis, or pure phantasmagorias.
Anyway, this topic was posted in News Submission. I can't imagine a validated new on HA titled "close for patent infringement - other software will follow", when it obviously contradicts facts.



EDIT: interesting link. I wasn't aware of this.

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dev0
post Mar 15 2005, 15:21
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AFAIK many of the patents a binary distribution of mplayer/ffmpeg violates aren't actually software patents.
Stuff like audio/video compression methods are patentable in the EU already.


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Gabriel
post Mar 15 2005, 15:23
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Right, software patentability will not have a major impact on Mplayer, as most mpeg patents are NOT software patents.
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Axon
post Mar 15 2005, 17:30
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I have to agree on gurubolez on this one. The lead MPlayer dev has pulled stunts like this before, on repeated occasions.
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xmixahlx
post Mar 15 2005, 19:00
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looking into my 8ball, i see server hosting in brazil on the rise smile.gif


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QuantumKnot
post Mar 16 2005, 00:58
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Forgive my ignorance, but is http://www.mplayerhq.hu the official mplayer site? It's still up and there isn't news about patent infringement. huh.gif
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