[FFmpeg-devel] Searching for a ffmpeg BCLO (bastard chief legal officer)

Michael Niedermayer michaelni
Fri Jan 25 14:05:05 CET 2008


The number of LGPL and GPL license violations increases, we already have 6
on roundup.
I first thought ill try to contact them but i guess it would be more
efficient if someone else could do that and i could concentrate on
developing which id also prefer :)

So what are the requirements for the BCLO:
* Short temper (not the kind type of guy who nicely talks with them for 
  3 month)
* legal knowlegde (you dont have to be a lawyer but you should know
  the (L)GPL and have an approximate idea of copyright law)
* ability to read C code, use strings and grep
* ability to use traceroute and the others to find the ISP, domain name
  provider, ... of a company

Things which would be nice
* some good contacts to online sites/local radio/newspapers which might
  be interrested in publishing an article about such copyright violation
* actually being a lawyer

What should be done
* Contact the companies and demand full compliance to the LGPL/GPL
  that is source code from the whole program(GPL) or libav*(LGPL) under
  the *GPL, COPYING file, some mention in the about box and or similar
  if one exists, (removial of anti reverse engeneering clauses conflicting
  with the *GPL maybe as well), ...
* give them a clear time limit (for example 2 weeks) and stick to that
  only give them more time if some progress is vissible and also dont
  overdo it, the 6month+ times we have on roundup are completely unacceptable
* Dont waste time with irrelevant things (libamr is undistrbutable and
  such) thats none of our bushiness and only delays them in complying to the
* If they fail to do solve any issue before the time limit, contact their
  ISP, domain provider, bank, anyone else you can think of and inform them
  about that their client is violating copyright. Also contact local radio
  stations, newspapers, online stuff, anyone else you can think of
  And if you are a real lawyer, sue them
* also if they used GPL and switch to LGPL without ever releasing full
  source, demand some compenation like hardware and or money. My suggestion
  here would be 10k euro equivalent unless its a small company or some
  private guy.

none from us but if a company pays us something due to a license/copyright
violation it certainly would be acceptable if some part of that would be
given to you, maybe 30% or so, rest would go to the ffmpeg project ...
But then this also opens the donations tax problems box, so someone would
have to solve that first ...

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Complexity theory is the science of finding the exact solution to an
approximation. Benchmarking OTOH is finding an approximation of the exact
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