> And Firefox still has a lot more users, more usage, and a much higher
> profile than VLC.
Yes, but the MPEG-LA knows about VLC and FFmpeg and they have never moved a finger. Why would they? To skim off all the money we have made so far, i.e. nothing, and get lots of bad press in return?
> It's highly questionable that the MPEG-LA considers Mozilla to already
> have a patent license just because we don't "sell" Firefox. You don't
> get a license just by meeting the terms, you have to explicitly enter
> into an agreement. So I suggest you prove your point by obtaining a free
> license from the MPEG-LA to distribute a large number of units of a
> product with a price of zero. Let me know when you've got that.
Go look at the terms. You don't need a license from the MPEG-LA (and neither does FFmpeg) because you don't qualify for requiring one:
> Beyond that, what if someone sells a product that includes Firefox?
Then they have a problem to deal with depending on who they are, how much money they have and in which country they reside? But why does that concern you? Software patents on multimedia technology are in no way special. You did not stop shipping plugin support in Firefox when Microsoft got sued. There is a multitude of other software patents that apply to Mozilla software. Why is this case in any way special?
> What if the MPEG-LA revises their license terms?
The new licensing terms should come out any moment now since they were slated to be replaced in January. I'm just as curious as you are.
> What if the corporations that run the MPEG-LA just decide they don't
> like us? You'd have us bet everything on the long-term goodwill of
> the MPEG-LA. That would be extremely foolish.
They sue you and get no money out of you. Then you have to stop US downloads for Firefox or offer a crippled version instead. Their loss. However, it will make the software patent nonsense newsworthy and fuel the discussion.
What exactly are you afraid of? I was never afraid that somebody might make me pay a billion bucks. I never had them and never will. So what exactly is it that you are fearing?
I can imagine hilarious scenarios of course: airport controls for software patent contraband :-)