mplayer should be moved to universe

Cesare Tirabassi norsetto at
Sun Jun 1 11:12:33 BST 2008

On Sunday 01 June 2008 04:15:12 Stefan Potyra wrote:

> hm... if only patent issues are a problem, I'd like to know what patents
> can actually cover. If patents only limit usage, but not distribution, I
> see no problems with putting mplayer sources in universe, and building
> binary mencoder packages in multiverse. Can someone clarify this?

A quick check with apt-cache shows the following mplayer bd to be in 
multiverse (because of mencoder):


I have not checked them all in detail, but I have the impression they are in 
multiverse because they (directly or through bd/d) either contain 
microcode/firmware or use patented algorithms (at least  patented in some 

What these patents (or claimed patents) cover or not is a very good question  
for which I could not find an easy and clear answer, at least from this 
example for MP3 (see Licensing and patent issues):

If a source in universe can bd on multiverse and have binaries in multiverse 
then yes, the easy solution would be to just have mencoder in multiverse.
If not I don't see how to possibly solve this beside:

1) following Debian by disabling mencoder, which doesn't seem to be wished by 
seeing posts in this thread and reactions on IRC

2) having two different source packages (which, quite frankly, doesn't seem 
feasible from a maintenability pov).


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