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Old 20th August 2010, 23:31   #21  |  Link
manono
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Old 21st August 2010, 02:01   #22  |  Link
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I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that source code wasn't considered a product long before this. I remember that from back in the pre-x264 xvid/divx popularity days how the source v. binary rules played an impact on why there were so many different builds. How in the world did this concept suddenly come into question? I guess a better question would be that if FFMPEG were in violation wouldn't the MPEGLA already have come after them long ago since they are pretty much the largest and most well known decoder?
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Old 21st August 2010, 03:03   #23  |  Link
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I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that source code wasn't considered a product long before this. I remember that from back in the pre-x264 xvid/divx popularity days how the source v. binary rules played an impact on why there were so many different builds. How in the world did this concept suddenly come into question? I guess a better question would be that if FFMPEG were in violation wouldn't the MPEGLA already have come after them long ago since they are pretty much the largest and most well known decoder?
Why do you think i created x264.nl? It's pretty laughable source code isn't a product. But also understandable, freedom is writing bla bla. Anyways it's all cleared up, ffmpeg is as legal as downloading a Blu-ray Disc in The Netherlands, so we all happy again!
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Old 21st August 2010, 03:37   #24  |  Link
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Uhm, that makes a lot of software illegal, including megui (and other guis including ffmpeg and derived softwares), ffms(2) avisynth plugin, mplayer, mpc-hc, vlc (maybe) and so on (including all softwares that include libavcodec and MAJOR linux distros too...).
If this is the case, expect major changes in megui... and long live VP8...
I will make an official statement on megui project page on sourceforge as soon as i get a response from my lawyer.
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Old 21st August 2010, 07:28   #25  |  Link
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I will make an official statement on megui project page on sourceforge as soon as i get a response from my lawyer.
A post in the news section would also be appreciated since this really seems interesting to the majority of the gui writers that not only supply the gui but a binary package (including for the tools the gui is ment for) for convenience.
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Old 21st August 2010, 11:44   #26  |  Link
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You can blame me for being uninformed on the source code/binary distinction. But based on the replies here, perhaps it wasn't as widely known as it should have been.

As explained on the FFMPEG legal page, the patent issue gives a lot of room for wiggle. If you supply your product in a country that does not honor software patents, then the whole MPEGLA issue appears moot. How can they come after you?

So that opens the possibility for GUI suppliers to supply only source code, while some kind soul in a non-SW-patent country (who is therefore not vulnerable to any action by MPEGLA) makes builds and supplies them.

So suppliers are wise to look into their individual situations. Small unincorporated operations, whether open source or not (such as MEGUI, mpc-hc, "neuron2", etc.) need to be secure against any potential legal liability, because there is no corporation to shield against personal liability.
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:01   #27  |  Link
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Originally Posted by Sharktooth View Post
Uhm, that makes a lot of software illegal, including megui (and other guis including ffmpeg and derived softwares), ffms(2) avisynth plugin, mplayer, mpc-hc, vlc (maybe) and so on (including all softwares that include libavcodec and MAJOR linux distros too...).
If this is the case, expect major changes in megui... and long live VP8...
I will make an official statement on megui project page on sourceforge as soon as i get a response from my lawyer.
What you think why Google acquired VP8, to prevent all illegal nightmares. We need to agree with fact that any of MPEG stuff is not suitable for open source and free use.
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:12   #28  |  Link
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" while some kind soul in a non-SW-patent country" -> so no luck in Europe, U.S.A, Japan,....
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:32   #29  |  Link
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" while some kind soul in a non-SW-patent country" -> so no luck in Europe, U.S.A, Japan,....
Well I remember VLC developers saying that thanks to being based in France there was no problem.
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Old 21st August 2010, 13:42   #30  |  Link
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the 2nd result of a google search on terms "ffmpeg mpegla" is:
FFmpeg vs. MPEG-LA royalties
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Old 21st August 2010, 14:40   #31  |  Link
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Got an answer from my lawyer. We can't distribute those software binaries in those countries with "certain" software patents laws, such as US or South Korea (not completely sure about the latter).
So, basically, US ppl can use MeGUI but they (we're ok coz we show a choice screen) will have to block the download of ffmpeg, mplayer, ffms2, dgindex, etc. binaries.
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Old 21st August 2010, 14:43   #32  |  Link
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the 2nd result of a google search on terms "ffmpeg mpegla" is:
FFmpeg vs. MPEG-LA royalties
I don't see anything about the distinction between binaries and source code at that link. What is there that you are drawing to our attention?
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Old 21st August 2010, 14:45   #33  |  Link
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So, basically, US ppl can use MeGUI but they (we're ok coz we show a choice screen) will have to block the download of ffmpeg, mplayer, ffms2, dgindex, etc. binaries.
That's not clear. What does this mean:

"we're ok coz we show a choice screen"

And who is "we"?

Why are your x264 binaries (linked in your sig) exempt?
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Old 21st August 2010, 14:57   #34  |  Link
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we, the coders, are not commiting illegal acts (for the US laws) coz megui lets you choose the updates (the choice screen). to be on the safe side we just have to add an informative text about the offending softwares to make US users aware of the problem.
Quote:
Why are your x264 binaries (linked in your sig) exempt?
coz i live in italy where Article 52 EPC excludes "programs for computers" from patentability (Art. 52(2)) to the extent that a patent application relates to a computer program "as such" (Art. 52(3)). however, my x264 builds are discontinued and if you click on the link it will redirect to the "Get the latest x264" thread where there are no links to builds of mine.
however more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softwar...ent_Convention
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:00   #35  |  Link
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I don't see anything about the distinction between binaries and source code at that link. What is there that you are drawing to our attention?
the documented viewpoint on matter at hand coming directly from a dev.

who's going to sue a gpl'd project that isn't using stolen code? Sue megui(a program released under the gpl) for hosting binaries to other gpl(and similar) licensed software? What purpose would it serve? From a business perspective, it's in the mpeg-la's best interest to allow the open source implementations of their standards to continue to operate. It ensures further market saturation and thus a higher demand from the tech companies looking to reap the benefits.
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:08   #36  |  Link
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the documented viewpoint on matter at hand coming directly from a dev.

who's going to sue a gpl'd project that isn't using stolen code? Sue megui(a program released under the gpl) for hosting binaries to other gpl(and similar) licensed software? What purpose would it serve? From a business perspective, it's in the mpeg-la's best interest to allow the open source implementations of their standards to continue to operate. It ensures further market saturation and thus a higher demand from the tech companies looking to reap the benefits.
That's an extremely shaky ground. You are arguing that MPEGLA and Co. don't have a reason to sue and major commercial competition doesn't hold the patents to sue over. But the commercial/proprietary tool makers can lobby MPEGLA and demand something along the lines of "why the hell are you charging us money if all those guys get to do it for free, have you seen sourceforge download counts?".

And now you have MPEGLA suing you (the distributor) for all you've got. Sharktooth and Neuron2 are doing the correct and sensible thing here.
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:25   #37  |  Link
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Exactly. All these arguments like "they'd never sue us because..." are irrelevant and dangerous.
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:36   #38  |  Link
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Specifically regarding DiAVC supplied by schweinsz in China (rather than by me), the situation is murky because the software patent rights in China are very narrow. For example, a "pure SW" product is not patentable. MPEGLA would have to test this in court in China if they wished to go after DiAVC. There's a good chance that they would not prevail.

These are highly gray areas. But in my case it's clear, I have to be licensed to avoid personal liability.
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:43   #39  |  Link
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im not sure about that. you can distribute your software thru a server in a country where there are no software patents.
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Old 21st August 2010, 15:47   #40  |  Link
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are you aware that german company nero recently opened an antitrust case against the mpeg-la?
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