Spot, none of your semantic jiu jitsu means that MP3 software is *actually* freely redistributable. Saying that “the MP3 codec is open sourced” is a nice attempt at a dodge, but the fact remains that even though *the code* for the MP3 codec may be “open source”, the *patent license* is not. Which is why we chose to make this kind of ugly compromise in the first place.

Unless something has changed, this sentence — “we see it as a way to help inform our users about the perils of software patents in the multimedia space, without preventing them from leveraging free software solutions” — is misleading. MP3 CODECS ARE NOT FREE SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS. (Again, unless something in the legal landscape has changed, and if it has, let’s hear more about that change.)

Which means that someone had to *pay* for those redistribution rights. And who was that? Fedora? Red Hat? No, actually. It was *Fluendo* who paid for those rights, in this case.

So we’re basically allowing thousands of users to freeload from Fluendo (thanks guys!), and in return we give Fluendo… what, exactly?

If we’re going to basically take the convenience of MP3 that Fluendo provides because we *can*, but then not provide Fluendo with *any* upsell opportunities, then we’re basically ripping off Fluendo’s good will to make ourselves feel better about our “user experience”.

If the Board has decided that they don’t want to point to any “non-free software” at all — which is a fine stance to take, by the way — then remove Codeina entirely. Either have the courage to say “we don’t encourage any non-free software at all,” or have the courage to say “we support your right to choose non-free software, so long as you obtain it legally, and here’s how.” Because the current poor compromise seems to be the worst of both worlds.


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