[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] Dynamic plugins loading

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras
Sat Nov 6 14:22:40 CET 2010

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 1:33 PM, Jean-Baptiste Kempf <jb at videolan.org> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 06, 2010 at 11:37:35AM +0200, Felipe Contreras wrote :
>> 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.
>> 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.
>> 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.
> _clearly_ vs _might_... Seriously?
> So who decides when it is clear and when it is not? People from Fedora?
> This is beyond ridiculous.

H.264 is a standard, that is clear. double-click is not. You cannot
implement a standard by mistake, or claim you came up with the idea on
your own; that would be ridiculous. Also, you cannot claim you didn't
know H.264 was patented, everyone knows that, and a few clicks would
reveal that, plus it's probably on the first page of the standard.
Moreover, codecs are atomic entities, and it's possible to list all of
the ones used in a system without any slipping by, the list wouldn't
be that big, and each one can be verified.

User interface interactions are totally different, who knows how many
are in any given system, and it's not that easy to find if there's a
patent for any one of them; it's easy to claim you didn't know it was
patented (thus have a reduced punishment). Plus, even if the patent
claim exists, it might be invalid. It's easy to come up with the
double-click idea, or the might be previous work on that. Who cares?
Certainly nobody is going to sue Fedora for that, nor it's like there
a freer unencumbered alternative to double-click, or that it's patent
really worth caring about.

Felipe Contreras

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