[vlc-devel] VLC Store idea

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Sun Dec 26 11:59:32 CET 2010


On Saturday 25 December 2010, Randolf Richardson wrote:
> 	Hello.  I was just discussing an idea in irc.freenode.net#videolan
> with users j-b and pk__ and it was suggested that I eMail my idea
> here.

This was already discussed a while ago. However, I think it's fair to say that 
the VideoLAN project sucks at server administration, due to lack of volunteer 
time. It's gotten even worse since server access was restricted due to 
(probably legitimate) security concerns.

> 	The idea is to set up a store called the VLC Store that competes
> with applications like iTunes, but only starting out with free (e.g.,
> Public Domain, certain Creative Commons, etc.) content.

I don't really see why it should be restricted to free content. Music is not 
DRM'd anymore, as Kaarlo already pointed out.

Only video is really problematic. Personnally, I don't like DRM, but I can 
live with it. However, I could not accept restricting DRM'd content to somehow 
"certified" and digitally-signed VLC versions. This would lock Linux 
distributions out.

> 	VLC Player could be updated to include a store option (I would
> recommend that the user be prompted on first use to choose the way
> VLC currently works {the default} or if they'd like to have it
> default to the store since I think choice is very important).

You probably assume some kind of interface design that you did not explicit, 
so I can't comment much on this.

> 	I'm willing to start out providing some server hardware and
> database, but my concern is with bandwidth costs -- I have to make
> sure that I can afford this, and I would need to talk to my upstream
> providers as well.  We do have IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (native, not
> tunnelled), which is also important for this type of project.

The VideoLAN project would have the same problem. Most of our bandwidth is 
provided by mirrors, including SF.net. As far as I know, we do not have 
permission to provide non-software content through the mirrors. And we 
definitely do not have permission to use the mirrors for commercial purposes, 
if we were to sell music.

> 	Any thoughts or ideas?  Better or different approaches?  I realize
> that this isn't a new concept, but I think it's one that the VLC
> Player may be well-suited for.

I suspect it would be far simpler, both technically and legally/contractually, 
to strike a partnership with an existing dealer, where we get a share of the 
sales made through VLC.

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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