Dragon Player in kdereview, proposed move into kdemultimedia

Ian Monroe ian.monroe at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 16:24:32 GMT 2008

On Jan 31, 2008 6:17 AM, Dirk Mueller <mueller at kde.org> wrote:
> On Wednesday 30 January 2008, Ian Monroe wrote:
> > > I can't think of anything less useful than that :-( It essentially means
> > > that we can not play anything with it legally (because of patent
> > > relicensing clauses).
> > So I suppose we should remove phonon-xine because its useless too?
> No, it is LGPL. Also all the other phonon engines, at least those maintained
> by Trolltech.

No, libxine is GPL v2+.

> > Where were your objections then?
> None, because there aren't any.
> > In reality Max Howell and I don't really care about adding a media
> > codec exemption to Dragon Player.
> Then please do that :)
> > But it's not clear at all to me that
> > the Qt license exemptions allows that, it mostly looks like it
> > doesn't.
> That is correct, but not relevant as long as it is under GPLv2. It is at least
> questionable if patent licensing is disallowed under the GPLv2 (it is
> explicitely forbidden in GPLv3).

I don't know what this means. Are you saying that if I add a media
codec exemption it makes no difference for now but might in the

> In effect, I don't think it is a good idea to not care about proper licensing
> just because Qt licensing might break it. Qt licensing has changed repeatedly
> in the past, and it is not unlikely, considering that Trolltech will
> eventually realize this problem as well, that they're going to fix this issue
> in the future as well. Therefore I think it should be essentially that we
> anticipate, prepare for and even expect this change. I personally find it
> demotivating that we have yet another player moved to KDE even though there
> are alternatives (kaffeine, kplayer, perhaps others I don't know) available,
> and no clear winner is visible (or was chosen based on a code, usability or
> popularity based review). It is just bound to repeat the noatun/amarok
> conflict and the k3b/cdbakeoven/burncd conflict.

Codeine has been around for a while and I think has proven itself as a
good video playing solution.

I do share your concern about parts of trunk/KDE becoming a wasteland
of mostly unmaintained software. This is kind of what happened to
kdemultimedia in KDE3. We should be more aggressive in pruning
software in trunk/KDE. This shouldn't scare us into a situation of
just keeping everything in extragear, even software being released on
the KDE schedule. Kind of just shuffles the issue around.

> > So anyways unless there's some phonon-yauap quackery, Dragon
> > Player or any other open source Phonon video player is useless to
> > Novell, Inc.
> This has nothing to do with Novell, Inc. specifically, because software
> patents affect anyone trying to distribute software to certain countries but
> thanks for trying it to drag it down to a personal level :)

Plenty of distros release to the US, only Novell and Redhat seem to
very concerned about media patents.

The only way (currently) to make a phonon video player that meets
Novell and Redhat's criteria would be for someone to buy a Qt license
and develop a video app with it. I'm happy to be told otherwise, I
could be very wrong since neither am I a lawyer or Novell and Redhat.

Ian Monroe

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