Patent issues with automatic codec installation

Greg K Nicholson greg at
Tue Dec 4 01:45:35 UTC 2007

On Mon, 2007-12-03 at 21:29 -0400, Cody A.W. Somerville wrote:
> So, the next time you wish to send such a nonconstructive and
> inflaming post, why not do us a favor and send it to /dev/null
> instead.

Let's not begin an infinite series where each participant repeats a
paraphrase of this to the previous participant.

> Anyhow, It seems to me that he is proposing we make it easy for people
> to adhere to local law like Fedora does with Codec buddy which seems
> more than reasonable to me.

Yeah, users should be as informed as is sensible given the overall state
of the law in the world.

So it's very wise to inform users that what they are about to do may be
illegal in their jurisdiction. Doubly so if a user's time zone suggests
that what they're about to do is probably illegal.

But I don't think many users would welcome making it harder to do
something that they know to be legal; or even that they wish to do
despite its illegality.

We certainly shouldn't make it easy to break the law *without knowing
what you're doing*; we don't necessarily have to prevent a user from
doing something simply because it is illegal in many countries.

For example, cars converted to right-hand drive specifically for use in
the UK are rarely (probably never) limited to a top speed of 70 miles
per hour (about 115 km/h), which is the legal limit on any public road
in the UK, even when the car's top speed is already electronically
limited (usually to 155 mph). (I'm aware that it's legal to drive faster
than 70 mph on private land, but that's very much an edge case; I
suspect there would be analogous edge cases here.)

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