[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] Dynamic plugins loading

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras
Sat Nov 6 11:02:57 CET 2010

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 11:46 AM, Nicolas George
<nicolas.george at normalesup.org> wrote:
> 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.

That's what I meant by _you_; any entity distributing ready-to-use
products: Fedora, MeeGo, etc.

>> 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.

They have to conform to the law, that's a bare minimum.

Secondly, they seem to have a clear philosophy: free is preferable
over non-free. VP8 claims to be free, therefore it's used.

>> 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.

That's not what I've heard. It's impossible to check you software for
all claimed patents, you can try, but you will miss many. That's why
some people recommend their engineers to not look at patents, so that
they can claim lack of knowledge. I can look for references if you

Felipe Contreras

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