[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] Dynamic plugins loading

Nicolas George nicolas.george
Sat Nov 6 10:46:59 CET 2010

Le sextidi 16 brumaire, an CCXIX, Felipe Contreras a ?crit?:
> H.264 is clearly owned by MPEG LA who claims to have the patents. You
> distribute FFmpeg as-is without paying them, you risk being sued by
> them.

No, he does not. Developing Free software and distributing it "as is" is
considered "experimental", which does not infringe any patent. Patent
infringement starts when the software is distributed as a ready-to-use
product or actually used.

> Menus, double-click, etc. _might_ be owned by patents, but it's not
> clear who, if any, would sue Fedora, and if the patent would be valid.

There are a lot of lists of stupid patents on the web, menus and
double-clock are on them, they _are_ patented. The only difference with
H.264 is that the MPEG-LA is actually and explicitly threatening.

You claim that Fedora avoids H.264 out of philosophy, but that is not true,
it is only a question of threat.

> Besides, legally speaking it's better to not know you are violating a
> patent, than knowingly do that, which wouldn't fly for H.264.

Actually, legally speaking, the law does not take into account the knowledge
of the infringing party: it is the responsibility of anyone willing to
exploit something industrially to ensure that it is not protect by a patent.


  Nicolas George
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