[FFmpeg-devel] GPL version matter

Reimar Doeffinger Reimar.Doeffinger
Sun Jul 1 20:06:22 CEST 2007

On Sun, Jul 01, 2007 at 08:52:22PM +0300, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-07-01 at 10:48 -0600, Loren Merritt wrote:
> > I interpret that as:
> > Under (L)GPL2, people who don't believe in software patents can use ffmpeg 
> > and ignore the patents, while people who have to cover their asses can 
> > use ffmpeg and pay off MPEG-LA or whoever.
> > If ffmpeg were (L)GPL3, people who don't believe in software patents could 
> > use ffmpeg and ignore the patents, but people who pay off MPEG-LA would 
> > be prohibited from distributing ffmpeg.
> If they pay protection money for their own use the (L)GPL says nothing
> about that. What can violate the (L)GPL is if they pay for their
> _distribution_ of FFmpeg on behalf of the recipients, giving the
> recipients a patent license but one which is "discriminatory" as defined
> by the GPL.
> An example of what the GPL 3 prohibits is some company starting to sell
> "licensed FFmpeg versions" and promising safety to those who bought from
> them, but threatening anyone who obtained FFmpeg from someone else with
> lawsuits.

In a quick scan I found only one part that applies to this case and it
is limited to getting the license from "a third party that is in the
business of distributing software", which would be a problem if you
wanted to sell licenses for patents owned by Microsoft but not
necessarily e.g. for everything from the MPEG-LA.
Though maybe tehre is something in the non-patents section that would
still cause problems...

Reimar Doeffinger

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