Patent issues with automatic codec installation (was: Automatic installation of DVD CSS support)

Fergal Daly fergal at
Sat Dec 1 20:45:23 GMT 2007

On 01/12/2007, Greg K Nicholson <greg at> wrote:
> > Perhaps a good compromise would be to default to Codec Buddy and have
> > a button for "Multiverse Codecs". When the user clicks the button,
> > they could be presented with a message *actively discouraging* them
> > from using the multiverse versions and highlighting that they are
> > likely to break the law if they do so.
> They aren't *likely* to break the law; lots of people live in countries
> without software patent legislation.

I almost replied to Aaron earlier on but I decided to wait to see if
anyone else did. I think there are several things in the original mail
that are not correct or are true, false or undecided depending on the
location of the user and maybe other factors.

Basically I think a discussion by software people on what is and isn't
legal in various jurisdictions is a lot of fun if you like that sort
of thing but ultimately unproductive. If there's any debate over
whether a particular practice is legal (in which jurisdiction?) then
you should ask a lawyer. If the debate absolutely must take place then
every point should be backed up with references to written laws or
court decisions, so that people can see that something isn't merely
your idea of how a legal system would work if it made sense (they
frequently don't).

Otherwise you're doing the modern day equivalent of debating how
angels can dance on the head of a pin,


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