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Old 26th November 2001, 03:33   #1  |  Link
donovani
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DivX 4 codec source.

I'm a bit confused (rather normal for me ). What is the relation between http://www.projectmayo.com and http://www.divx.com? I'd like to do a bit of playing around/tweaking to the 4.11 codec and thought DivX 4 was open source (which led me to Project Mayo).

Is the DivX 4 source available and is there a relation between these two sites or are they just two separate implementations of MPEG4?
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Old 26th November 2001, 09:13   #2  |  Link
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here is my layman's understanding of the situation. Project Mayo, or Opendivx, is an open source Mpeg4 codec. It may be released under GNU, but I'm not sure. After several months of opendivx development, with programing and beta testing help from many open source fans, the Project Mayo group took what they had learned and coded Divx4.

This caused some (many?) supporters to complain that they had been mislead and 'used', but the Divx4 people insisted that the Divx4 codec was written from scratch and did not use the source from opendivx. Furthermore, they said it was known all along that they wanted to make a commercial codec eventually. The Divx4 codec was released under a licence which said it could be used for non-commercial puroposes free of charge, and is closed source (obviously not GNU).

If you care to get into the history of Opendivx/Divx4 further check out the divx.com forums. But to answer your questions: No, Divx4 is not open source. And Yes, they are essentially two different implimentations of Mpeg4 at this point. I'm not sure if the orignal Project Mayo members just abandoned Opendivx/Project Mayo or are still active in it's development.

I'm sure someone like BetaBoy (who is a divx4 developer) will correct the errors I have made here.
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Old 26th November 2001, 09:51   #3  |  Link
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Thanks.

Ah, ok. That explains a few things.

Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 26th November 2001, 12:59   #4  |  Link
Doom9
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seems like most of the opendivx developers actually joined the divx4 team. The two codecs are also compatible.. just that divx4 offers better quality and faster encoding. There's another codec based on opendivx: www.videocoding.de. And the license under which both opendivx and that codec are released isn't pure GPL.. there are a few extra things...
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Old 28th November 2001, 10:22   #5  |  Link
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Re:

Quote:
Originally posted by Doom9
And the license under which both opendivx and that codec are released isn't pure GPL.. there are a few extra things...
Hello Doom9,

have you discovered a problem with XviD's license header or are you refering to the remaining proprietary code and the general MPEG4-licensing dilemma?

(XviD's GPL-license was briefly discussed here: http://www.videocoding.de/forum/view...pic=41&forum=2 )
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Old 29th November 2001, 18:53   #6  |  Link
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actually.. I haven't even checked xvid, let along read it's license. I only know that the opendivx license never was GPL.. there's indeed a general problem when it comes to mpeg4... you'd have to pay some licensing fees when making encoders, like for mpeg2 (in fact you can buy licenses for both from the mpegla)... as far as I understand xvid is under the original release and the changes under the gpl.. pretty sure that this wouldn't stand up in court tough... even a full gpl implementation, replacing all opendivx codec would still conflict with the licensing requirements.. as far as the legal situation is concerned I'm pretty sure bbmpeg is not legal.. but nobody seems to care. If you come up with an mpeg4 encoder that beats all the existing stuff that might be different though.. look at tmpg.
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Old 26th December 2001, 05:46   #7  |  Link
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Re:

Well technically, you can't freely distribute an MPEG-2 decoder without applying for a distrubution license either, so that makes DVD2AVI, MPEG2DEC, etc. all illegal (MPEG LA).

The finalised MPEG-4 licensing will undoubtedly contain similar costs, so all this does is place XviD in the same boat as LAME.

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Old 31st December 2001, 23:22   #8  |  Link
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>actually.. I haven't even checked xvid, let along read it's license. I only know that the opendivx license never was GPL..
>even a full gpl implementation, replacing all opendivx codec would still conflict with the licensing requirements..

If I'm right, most of the code has been replaced already. I think I read somewhere that maybe several hundred lines of code left. So it's almost completely GPL. The licensing problem still remains though...
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Old 2nd January 2002, 08:02   #9  |  Link
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Got the same problem here with AC3 and MPEG-2. Here a mail from Elecard.

"However, I'd like to inform you of your liabilities as a software
distributor. Every MPEG-2 decoding product which is distributed to end
users (no matter how you distribute it, no matter how much you ask for
it - even for free) is subject for royalties to MPEG-2 patent holders
($4 per copy) - see http://www.mpegla.com. Same to AC-3 decoders - you
must pay royalties to Dolby Laboratories, http://www.dolby.com. Same to
MPEG-4. There are implementations of both MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and AC-3
decoders for Linux, which are distributed to end users for free, but
their distributors infringe patents and violate the laws. For now the
athorities are not prohibiting this distribution, but sometime thay can
find some means to do so.

We are glad to help you with your project, and I hope you will consider
our suggestion. Good luck with your work, and Happy New Year!"
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Old 2nd January 2002, 14:44   #10  |  Link
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Nice of him to wish you a happy new year, but not mention that the royalties rate dropped on New Year's.
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Old 3rd January 2002, 07:34   #11  |  Link
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Re:

Quote:
Originally posted by mpucoder
Nice of him to wish you a happy new year, but not mention that the royalties rate dropped on New Year's.
Really ? How much ?
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Old 3rd January 2002, 14:43   #12  |  Link
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The per-unit royalty for encoders and decoders is now 2.50 USD, effective Jan 1, 2002.
Other rates have changed as well, see http://www.mpegla.com/l_agreement.html
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Old 3rd January 2002, 15:03   #13  |  Link
BlackSun
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In any way this is too hot for me !! I am providing a free software and don't want to pay for each downloads
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Old 3rd January 2002, 17:02   #14  |  Link
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BlackSun,
The royalty is also a cause why there is no built-in DVD player in MS Windows...
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Old 3rd January 2002, 22:16   #15  |  Link
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There is possibly something wrong with a legal system that requires people providing a free service to pay per customer for the use of an abstract idea.

- Tom
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Old 4th January 2002, 08:25   #16  |  Link
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Anyway, MPEGLA shit...
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Old 4th January 2002, 16:05   #17  |  Link
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Especially when the specifications for the idea are an ISO/IEC standard, and freely available (well, legally you have to pay for "printing and shipping", even for electronic delivery of the pdf version, but it's not like the DVD specs that cost $5000 and require you to sign a NDA)
I don't recall this being the case for any standard prior to MPEG.
And, if you think this is bad, I work with broadcasters who are struggling to convert to digital, and MPEG-LA wants to charge royalties on a PER STREAM basis (i.e. if they are using their channel for 4 low quality shows it costs 4x what it does for one HDTV show)

Last edited by mpucoder; 4th January 2002 at 16:11.
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Old 5th January 2002, 17:49   #18  |  Link
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My opinion is that XviD must collect donations and employ a lawer, or find a mighty subsidizer. Otherwise we will flame here endlessly for nought.
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Old 6th January 2002, 19:08   #19  |  Link
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The MPEG-4 simple profile (like DivX) is a variant of the older H263 video codec. There are some patents which are directly linked to MPEG-4 but the royalty conditions are not closed yet. Many companies have already made MPEG-4 software and hardware implementations, ignoring those patents. It would be hard to sue all those companies.
MPEG is a committee, as such, things progress very slowly (like technolgy licensing).

I'll end with a joke:
Q: What's a camel ?
A: A horse designed by a committee
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