FYI, this has just been syndicated on Planet GNOME:

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Betreff:        Installation of Multimedia codecs based on Country
Datum:  Wed, 20 Jan 2010 11:20:00 GMT
Von:    Sankar <>

During our last openSUSE Project meeting, there was a discussion on
Multimedia Codecs. Currently, in openSUSE (and in almost all other Linux
distributions) multimedia codecs are not shipped along with the DVD,

* The software is proprietary software, it does not conform to the Open
Source definition.
* The software is providing functionality which is patented and the
patent holder is preventing distribution of the software
* The software violates laws concerning software distribution in
jurisdictions where the companies behind the distribution conduct business.

However, Legal restrictions differs across countries for different
multimedia formats. There are places where there are no legal
restrictions on some formats.

We can run a server/service on such a country where there are no legal
restrictions multimedia codecs (or on international waters ?) which when
given a Country name, should respond with the List of allowed multimedia
codecs for that country (and also the binaries).

During installation, users are asked to choose their Location (timezone
etc.) and after every installation, on the first run, we can pass this
location information to the above mentioned Geo-Codecs-Service and get
all the safe-to-use-binaries for the selected location.

This Geo-Codecs-Service can be jointly operated by all linux
distributions (or for that matter can be used by any interested
operating system).

So, the question of this blog post is: Are there any legal problems with
this above approach ? I am sure someone should have considered this
earlier and should have found any reasons why this may not be possible.
Please type your comments here
Thank you a lot for your suggestions. Also, thanks to Karl Fischer for
making me blog this and get a wider opinion.

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