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Old 22nd August 2010, 16:20   #61  |  Link
iwod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lych_necross View Post
No, FFmpeg is not aware of their legal standing. Straight from their legal page:

Simply put, FFmpeg doesn't know if they are in violation or not.
It is not they dont know. It is mainly because as a dev they dont care.

1. They are not based in US. And most of the dev aren't from US. They have no such thing as Software patent. Much like what EU and UK judges argues that US is trying to patents everything under the sun.

2. There are about Zillions of Software Patents. To read up everything and remember not implement them is totally impractical if that is even possible for human being.

3. Even if they are in violation of a patents, they are not providing any binaries. You are perfectly legal to download the source code and compile it for yourself even if you are in US.
Compiling in itself is not illegal. Using it is a different matter in US.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 16:22   #62  |  Link
quantum5uicid3
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Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
Can you elaborate on that please?
philosophically more than legally, because the legalities of the gpl are equally murky waters. this is a discussion that transcends into the current state of United States patents on abstract ideas even if the simple machine or transformation test applies, ie algorithm patents. this is not a new or cut and dry discussion, it's almost like discussing politics or religion.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 16:55   #63  |  Link
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Originally Posted by Disabled View Post
GPL says if you get the software you are free to distribute it for free.
It seems that you are correct if a royalty applies. Here is the relevant section of GPL:

Quote:
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other
circumstances.

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is
implemented by public license practices. Many people have made
generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed
through that system in reliance on consistent application of that
system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing
to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot
impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.
They are apparently compatible for the cases where no royalty applies, for example, the 100,000 AVC cutoff case.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 21:52   #64  |  Link
Disabled
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You are right neuron2, as long as its free it should be compatible. But in the end it is... half compatible? A little compatible? very compatible?
IMO if you enforce the gpl, they are incompatible.
Still if you get an MPEG license, the authors of the GPL software had to sue you to get into trouble. Then a judge had to interpret the GPL and tell right from wrong.

For x264, we could ask the x264 LLC, they might make an GPL exception for free licenses for GPL code. (link).

Pretty much all other projects use ffmpeg anyways (which this thread is about) and they have to many codecs to license that can't be licensed for free.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 00:05   #65  |  Link
seemees
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All h264 code made of A SINGLE programmers. And patent holders now FAR AWAY from true IDEA, that they HOLD. Without good free coding programmers we never have h264, CUDA, emulators and so on. Only reach company CAN PAY for license, and CAN ENSLAVE all of us. Cause new generation of programmers CAN NOT do a simple os code, simple edit, play and convert software. All "new tools" is MONSTRO being. 4Gigabytes, 8Gigabytes, 25Gigabytes. Are you Remember sony playstation 3 and all game for her? Its absurd theater. All game of sony playstation use h264 for video sequence. But all thouse product is emptyness. It's tones Gigabytes of nothing. And real pay
of user consist of true lie. "My product is cost $555.0". But why? Money is only paper - or you don't know it? One who prints the money - prints our all slaveness. If MPEGLA
hold patent. Let it hold. But all that we can give MPEGLA - is respect for good IDEA. And make from IDEA to stand alone program (binary) - it is ours. It is ours life. Think about patent of clear air. All who breath must get license for any single inhale. h264 is a planetary invention, like an sun shine.

With best regards, seemees
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Old 23rd August 2010, 04:55   #66  |  Link
bob0r
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Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
...
I'd be interested in hearing from any possible binary hosts in non-liable countries.
For 10000 a month 'm your man.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 08:55   #67  |  Link
lych_necross
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Originally Posted by iwod View Post
It is not they dont know. It is mainly because as a dev they dont care. [...]
And that is the problem. They created a great piece of software without regard to others intellectual property and then release it worldwide (again without regard for others IP). For everyone's sake, I hope MPEG LA gets defeated and this whole mess goes away.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 10:44   #68  |  Link
quantum5uicid3
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"in re bilski", proves that the supreme court will not be doing away with software patents anytime soon. so the patents themselves will not be going away, what we can hope for is that the DOJ does actually take a good look at the mpeg-la and if any monopolistic abuses are occurring, take appropriate measures. us citizens write your congressman.
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Old 25th August 2010, 04:35   #69  |  Link
Sharktooth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lych_necross View Post
And that is the problem. They created a great piece of software without regard to others intellectual property and then release it worldwide (again without regard for others IP). For everyone's sake, I hope MPEG LA gets defeated and this whole mess goes away.
If MPEG-LA gets defeated it would become a whole mess.
Every patent would have to be licensed by every single patent holder.
MPEG-LA is a patent pool and it is supposed to simplify things...
The ideal solution is MPEG-LA does exactly what it was created for with a bit of flexibility.
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Old 25th August 2010, 08:22   #70  |  Link
Reimar
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Originally Posted by lych_necross View Post
And that is the problem. They created a great piece of software without regard to others intellectual property and then release it worldwide (again without regard for others IP).
This sounds a bit too much for an accusation to my tastes. What do you expect volunteers that usually don't earn any money with it to do on a subject that even a lawyer at best can tell you "well, probably it doesn't apply at all to you neither in your country of residence nor where the project is hosted, and in some other parts of the world 'they' can sue you into bancrupcy completely independent of whether they're right or wrong. But I'm not going to promise anything at all.".
Particularly since taking a license from MPEG-LA doesn't change that situation at all in principle, it just changes your chances.
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Old 25th August 2010, 11:58   #71  |  Link
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Is the IRS compatible with VAT, to give an example from the US?

A licence is an agreement, nothing more.

You can distribute the code and the binaries both under GPL/GPL2 and MPEG-LA, provided you pay the royalties for MPEG-LA (part of the deal). Where's the legal problem? Where's the incompatibility? That a free developer should pay for other people to be happy with his free software? It's just a financial issue ...
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Old 25th August 2010, 12:19   #72  |  Link
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Calm guyz, wait a moment.

FFMPEG is in the same position of XviD: sources doesn't violate laws, binaries does.
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Old 25th August 2010, 12:22   #73  |  Link
mariush
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Originally Posted by Sharktooth View Post
If MPEG-LA gets defeated it would become a whole mess.
Every patent would have to be licensed by every single patent holder.
MPEG-LA is a patent pool and it is supposed to simplify things...
The ideal solution is MPEG-LA does exactly what it was created for with a bit of flexibility.
In an ideal world, a company like MPEG-LA would be great.

However, as far as I understand, they started this and they were an exception as were accepted by US government as a company licensing a series of "essentials" patents, limited in number.

Over the years, every few months or so, MPEG-LA found more "essential" patents to add to the pool, thus extending artificially the time and preventing the standard from going free, and forcing people to pay licenses for longer time.

I think this was explained better in Nero's lawsuit press release, where they accuse them of monopoly or something like that.

Later edit: Yes, here it is:
Quote:
Back in 1997, the MPEG-LA sought a promise from the US Department of Justice that it would not initiate any antitrust investigations against the licensing body. The DOJ expressed then that it currently had no intention of acting upon the MPEG-LA, but this lack of intention was conditioned on a number of things.

First, the MPEG-LA would engage with independent experts to ensure only essential patents would be placed in the MPEG-2 pool. They told the DOJ that the MPEG-2 pool constituted of 53 essential patents. Second, independent experts would "weed out nonessential patents" from the pool. Third, licensing terms would be "fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory".

Nero claims none of these safeguards were honoured, and here's where it gets juicy; "absolute power has corrupted the MPEG-LA absolutely", according to Nero. First of all, the so-called independent expert was anything but independent. The expert helped form the MPEG-LA, helped in drafting the first MPEG-LA licensing agreements, answers questions from licensees on behalf of the MPEG-LA, has attended business settlement meetings on behalf of the MPEG-LA, and has testified before US congress on behalf of the MPEG-LA. Heck, he is listed on the MPEG-LA website as "MPEG-LA's US patent counsel".

Nero also claims that the MPEG-LA has unlawfully extended its patent pools by adding non-essential patents to the MPEG-2 patent pool. Even though the MPEG-LA told the DOJ there were only 53 essential MPEG-2 patents, the non-independent expert added round and about 800 more patents to the pool, extending the duration of the patent pool, since the old, 53 essential patents expired.

"On information and belief, MPEG LA has similarly extended the duration and scope of its monopoly power in the relevant technology markets for the licensing of patents relating to the MPEG-4 Visual and AVC [H264] standards by adding nonessential patents to its MPEG-4 Visual and AVC pools, which now contain more than 1000 and 1300 patents, respectively," Nero further claims.

Nero further claims that the MPEG-LA has "formulated and imposed licensing terms that are unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory", by charging different royalty rates from licensees for the same MPEG-2 license and by not making any downward adjustment in line with the "rapid and dramatic" decrease in costs of implementing the MPEG-2 standard. In addition, the MPEG-LA collects royalties for the same device multiple times (internal hardware, software, monitor, etc.), and the licensing body has failed to "communicate its policies equally to all licensees".
http://www.osnews.com/story/23346/Ne...gainst_MPEG-LA
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Old 25th August 2010, 16:10   #74  |  Link
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im only saying the ideal solution is MPEG-LA keeps a FAIR patent pool and stops doing unfair practices.
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Old 26th August 2010, 09:12   #75  |  Link
ender`
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Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
You can distribute the code and the binaries both under GPL/GPL2 and MPEG-LA, provided you pay the royalties for MPEG-LA (part of the deal). Where's the legal problem? Where's the incompatibility? That a free developer should pay for other people to be happy with his free software? It's just a financial issue ...
You're wrong here. GPL requires you to provide any patent free of charge to anybody who uses your GPL-licensed code, or any code derived from it. As far as I know, MPEG-LA does not grant you such a license, so you can't legally distribute code that is covered by a patent.
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Old 26th August 2010, 09:46   #76  |  Link
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ffmpeg guys probably need to add similar to lame project FAQ to website (if they haven't)

http://lame.sourceforge.net/tech-FAQ.txt

Quote:
6. Does LAME use any MP3 patented technology?

LAME, as the name says, is *not* an encoder. LAME is a development
project which uses the open source model to improve MP3 technology.
Many people believe that compiling this code and distributing an
encoder which uses this code would violate some patents (in the US,
Europe and Japan). However, *only* a patent lawyer is qualified to
make this determination. The LAME project tries to avoid all these
legal issues by only releasing source code, much like the ISO
distributes MP3 "demonstration" source code. Source code is
considered as speech, which may contain descriptions of patented
technology. Descriptions of patents are in the public
domain.

Several companies plan on releasing encoders based on LAME, and
they intend to obtain all the appropriate patent licenses. At least
one company is now shipping a fully licensed version of LAME with
their portable MP3 player.

Note that under German Patent Law, 11(1) a patent doesn't cover
private acts with non-industrial purposes. Probably interesting for
developers is that a patent doesn't cover acts with experimental
purposes, that aim at the object of the patented invention (11(2)).
btw, I made thread that may be interesting to some 3rd party developers, link:
When and why you CANNOT use FFMPEG in your programs! (not directly related to this thread)
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Old 26th August 2010, 12:25   #77  |  Link
sneaker_ger
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slightly off-topic:
MPEG LA’s AVC License Will Not Charge Royalties for Internet Video That Is Free to End Users Through Life of License
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Old 27th August 2010, 09:07   #78  |  Link
zn
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which didn't change much, firefox and other browsers still required to pay to include h.264 decoding

webm/vp8/ogg needs to make it to html5 specs to resolve problem...
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Old 27th August 2010, 09:19   #79  |  Link
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MPEG LA decided to place a permanent royalty moratorium on AVC/H.264! Read all about it here! A very interesting move. I wonder how it will affect FFMPEG and the like.
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Old 27th August 2010, 11:07   #80  |  Link
mariush
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which didn't change much, firefox and other browsers still required to pay to include h.264 decoding

webm/vp8/ogg needs to make it to html5 specs to resolve problem...
... and, the moment your website has any kind of ad, it's no longer free and you have to pay (if the video is longer than 12 minutes i guess)
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