[FFmpeg-devel] GPL version matter

Uoti Urpala uoti.urpala
Sun Jul 1 20:26:00 CEST 2007

On Sun, 2007-07-01 at 19:43 +0200, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 01, 2007 at 08:08:06PM +0300, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> > Bullshit. The FSF is well aware that it's impossible in practice to
> > write a program without violating a patent, and all programs are
> > strictly speaking illegal in jurisdictions that allow software patents.
> > The GPL is not meant to exclude programs covered by patents.
> it is, and the FSF is claiming that even the (L)GPL2 is fundamentally
> incompatible with patents, to quote carlo piana (FSF europe lawyer)
> though he wrote the text below as lawyer of some company and not the

Your original claim and what M?ns wrote were about software patents
owned by someone else. Your quote looks like it's in the context of
keeping _your own_ software patents applicable while distributing the
software under L(GPL).

> the GPL3 clearly says:
>   If you convey a covered work, knowingly relying on a patent license,
> and the Corresponding Source of the work is not available for anyone
> to copy, free of charge and under the terms of this License, through a
> publicly available network server or other readily accessible means,
> then you must either (1) cause the Corresponding Source to be so

> to me this means, if you distribute ffmpeg and signed a patent license then
> you must ensure that the source is available to anyone free of charge
> under this patent license

First, the clause is only about _distribution_ "knowingly relying on a
patent license". If you pay protection money for your _use_ that has no
effect on distribution.

Second, I think you misinterpret what "this License" with capital L
means. As section 0 (Definitions) says, '?This License? refers to
version 3 of the GNU General Public License.'. Thus it's not "under this
patent license" but "under the GPL".

My interpretation of that paragraph is that if you "knowingly rely" on a
patent license to _distribute_ the software, and the license does not
extend to downstream recipients, then you must make the source code
publicly available under the GPL (instead of making it available only to
the recipient of the software).

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