[Fsfe-ie] Re: Stallman Video

Glenn Strong Glenn.Strong at cs.tcd.ie
Fri May 21 02:23:46 CEST 2004

On Friday, May 21, 2004 at 00:29 +0100, David Cathcart wrote:
> > 
> > If the queries are over format, licensing, recording,
> > redistribution etc, could you just put them all in a mail (ideally with
> > some indication of what Stallman requires!), and I'll hassle people for
> > answers?
> The queries come from the IFSO, not from Stallman.


[It's late. My apologies for not being brief.]

There are requirements from RMS, though. I forwarded a communication
from him to netsoc, but perhaps you have seen it. The relevant
portions are included below (I can send on the whole thing if it would

> > Thus far, what I do know about the above is that the format is WMV9.
> > This seems to meet the criteria we've been given (viewable using OSS
> > [mplayer] on any OS, open or not), but no one has actually confirmed
> > that for us yet. Could you do so please? 
> Mplayer (while not completly free) will play WMV9 (possibly only with
> non-free libraries.. unsure here). 

Urk. I don't like the sound of that. As far as I am aware mplayer can
only do this by linking in sections of non-free code (specifically,
the WMV9 codec from Microsoft). That would be a complete no, unless I
am wrong about the licence for the codec.

Not to be totally negative, does anybody know of a usable free video
streaming system? Somebody recommended http://livechunk.a-1.nl/ to
me. I know nothing about it. Nothing at all.

Here's an article about producing a video stream using only free
software (for a Stallman talk, no less):
http://people.via.ecp.fr/~massiot/encoding.html (the subsection
labelled "edition" will probably be enough to give them conniptions,
but anyway). Note that it does not appear to be a requirement of RMS's
that *you* use only free software, only that the viewers be *able to*.

> Since it's heanet's webcast it's up to them as to which format they
> stream in. The best i can say about wmv9 is that it's common and not
> RealVideo, i don't know of a popular, stable, free codec.

Almost. It's RMS talking, and he *will* stop to have the stream shut
off if it will not be viewable using only free software (he has,
apparently, done this before).

Here's a quite from RMS (it was in the mail I originally

> Putting my speech on the net:
> If you would like to put my speech on the Internet, or distribute it
> in digital form, that is ok provided you make sure that a user can
> play the recording on a GNU/Linux system using only free software.

(remembering that he means free software as in GPL or similarly
licensed.  Careful interpretation of this paragraph would imply that a
WMV9 stream would be OK, as long as there was a concurrent stream of,
say, Theora data. I may be splitting the hairs too fine, though.)

> For instance, this means RealPlayer format is unacceptable.
> OGG/Vorbis format is good for audio, and OpenDIVX is good for video.
> If OGG/Theora format is ready, let's use that for video.
> This requirement is very important, because if it is not followed,
> viewing my speech will require people to do the exact opposite of what
> I ask them to do.  The medium would contradict the message.
> Because this is so important, please make sure everyone who might be
> involved in broadcasting the event, or who might be directly or
> indirectly involved in planning such a broadcast, knows this
> requirement in advance of the event.
Glenn Strong

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