back to article Moonlight plans video-patent police beater for Linux

The open-source version of Microsoft's Silverlight is adopting hardware-based decoding for video, a move that will boost multimedia on Linux devices. Moonlight is adding support for Nvidia cards to offload the work of H.264 and VC1 decoding from the software player to the actual hardware. Nvidia features the Video Decode and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    What a fucking mess. It's all an absolute farce. So I can use H.264 video through Moonlight but only if I download it from Novells site? If Ubuntu package it into the distro and I use Moonlight to decode the same video the MPEGLA can come after me?

    Another classic 'throw the community in the shit' from Novell and their undercover Microsoft operative Miguel de Icaza. Nobody wants Mono, nobody wants Moonlight, let Microsoft fight it out on their own.

    I can't decide if I want Silverlight to succeed so Adobe gets one in the ass for the years of crap Linux support and refusal to remove the single barrier to entry to Linux for a lot of people (Photoshop) or Silverlight to fail so Microsoft aren't allowed to just bully themselves into another market sector by leveraging lock-in.

  2. Nebulo


    what a tangled web we weave

    When in Intellectual Property we believe.

  3. Edward Lilley
    Thumb Down


    Why is the word unfree inquotation marks? Is it some being used here in a way that is somehow distinct from its dictionary, or commonly used definition?

  4. Jonathan

    VDPAU NVidia driver is still "unfree"

    So free-as-in-speech-tards still lose :(

  5. Paul

    mplayer nvidia vdpau

    huh? it's taken them this long to catch on? there's an mplayer version which uses the newer nvidia drivers to get h264 accel.

  6. Alastair

    "project leader Miguel de Icaza told us"

    ... "Speed is the driver."

    Did he also happen to mention whether rhythm is, indeed, a dancer?

  7. Shadow Systems

    No offense, but they can all go bugger each other...

    I buy a disk labeled with the DVD/BluRay logo, that means it is playable on any device that also carries the DVD/BluRay logo.

    It doesn't matter if it's a Windows / Mac / Linux machine, a portable DVD/BluRay player, the deck in the dashboard of my car, the stand-alone player in the entertainment center with the tv, etc.

    I've paid for it, there's nothing they can do to stop me playing it on any device I own capable OF playing it.

    So the fact that I run Linux is beside the point, the fact that they are artificially restricting my ability to use something I've already paid for (by claiming I need to buy codecs so the *software* can do what the *physical device* already is intended on doing, namely *playing the disk*) means I get to give them The Finger.

    I'll exercise my Fair Use Rights, as well as the DMCA itself, in using any means necessary to bypass your artificial restrictions so that I can play my legally obtained movie.

    Don't like it?


    It's mine, I paid for it, and I'm trying to play it on my Player.

    Oh, wait, I *AM* playing it on my player, because there's not a damned thing you can do to stop me.

    Pirate Logo because evidently I am one for exercising my Rights.

  8. Jo Shields

    Not as bad as people think

    There's a common - but false - misconception about the codec licensing which this article perpetuates.

    Codec licensing doesn't "only appl[y] to Moonlight users who download the player from Novell's site". Moonlight from Novell's site has no codecs at all. The codec licensing comes as part of a closed-source codec library, silverlight-media-pack-linux-$ARCH-$ (the "Microsoft Media Pack"), which can only be downloaded from Microsoft. This is the unredistributable part with the "must come from one site" requirement, not Moonlight itself.

    Whether Moonlight comes from, or packages in the 8 or so distributions which make them available, the MS Media Pack is not included - however, Moonlight will offer to download it for you if & when it deems the install necessary. Some of those distributions compile against FFmpeg, and therefore have (non-patent-licensed) media support WITHOUT the closed-source Microsoft Media Pack (but the MMP can still be added subsequently at user option).

    To repeat, in case the above isn't sufficiently clear: Moonlight has no codecs; Moonlight's licensed codecs are unredisributable and available only from; Moonlight will offer to download/install those codecs on demand; and you get full patent coverage on those codecs as long as your Microsoft Media Pack came from, regardless of where you got Moonlight from

  9. Ray


    "What's still unclear is whether those who download the Fluendo and Cyberlink codecs are allowed to use them, and whether Fluendo and Cyberlink can actually pass on their rights."

    Eh? The codecs cost £25/€28. Does the above sentence mean that, even though you pay for the codecs, you still don't have the required license to use them? Surely not...?

  10. Dave


    "a move that will boost multimedia on Linux devices"


    It is a move that will boost adoption of another bloody Microsoft proprietary technology that we don't actually need.

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