> > I never said anything of the sort. I just had to counter the nonsense
> > claim that Fluendo codecs are in any way more "legal" than those from
> > FFmpeg.
> If you want implementations of the MPEG cartel's technologies in Mozilla
> software, then you more or less have to advocate that the Mozilla
> organisation pays up: they aren't going to get away with distributing
> the software as a US-based organisation without doing so. The
> alternative is that Mozilla doesn't incorporate such technologies.
Why? Because you say so even though the MPEG-LA licensing terms disagree?
> Yes, it is a disgrace that people can use patents to paint legitimately
> distributed software as not being "legal" and to undermine the licensing
> terms of Free Software. The ways to get around this include campaigning
> for an end to software patents and avoidance of encumbered technologies
> until the former objective is achieved.
Avoidance is not viable when everything except "Hello World!" is patented, which is the situation we are in now...
> > > There are people who redistribute Mozilla software, you know, and
> > > the whole business has significant implications for Free Software
> > > implementations of Web technologies.
> > Spare me the condescending tone please.
> Well, it is about redistribution. High-profile distributors given the
> choice of either being pursued by an aggressive patent cartel or not
> distributing an application, all because encumbered technology was
> embedded in a Free Software application, will not choose the former
> option regardless of any insistence that the licensing fees are optional.
VLC, MPlayer and FFmpeg are not high-profile distributors? It seems that
Then we shall have to switch to low-profile distributors for our free software then.
> > Google is violating neither the letter nor the spirit of FFmpeg's
> > license. What gives you such weird ideas?
> Oh, just some weird Web site called LWN.net...
A patent license from the MPEG-LA does not in any way interact with the LGPL. How would it? If Google has an MPEG-LA license and passes along FFmpeg to you it can only do so under the full terms of the LGPL. And this is what Google is doing: Distributing FFmpeg with all the rights that we passed along to them attached, as specified by the LGPL.
Anything else is impossible. The LGPL clearly states that if obligation X keeps you from distributing without passing along all rights, you may not distribute at all.
Even if they wanted to, neither Google nor the MPEG-LA can restrict the rights we granted you under the LGPL. FFmpeg is LGPLed, period. Not even a decree from the pope himself can change that. If somebody passes along FFmpeg to you, it happens under the terms of the LGPL.
Google can make any side deals they want. If those side deals prevent them from distributing according to the terms of the LGPL, then Google has a problem, but nobody else. Nobody else made a side deal. It doesn't matter if you get your FFmpeg from us directly or from Google. You are not a party to any sort of side deal, thus you are not affected by such side deals.
Note that this is how both FFmpeg and the Software Freedom Law Center see the issue. I never felt there was anything to clarify there, but apparently people are willing to take random quotes from random people as facts just because they are reprinted at lwn.net...