FFmpeg vs. MPEG-LA royalties
Posted Feb 4, 2010 13:16 UTC (Thu) by pboddie
In reply to: FFmpeg vs. MPEG-LA royalties
Parent article: Blizzard: HTML5 video and H.264 - what history tells us and why we're standing with the web
So you want them to get a patent license valid for every person on earth? That basically means buying out all those patents. Do you think such a thing would be available at all? At a price Google would be willing and able to pay?
It doesn't mean buying those patents at all, but merely licensing them, which I'm sure has happened on a large scale before. But if Google's licence means that only they are practising the associated patent claims when distributing the code, and that recipients are not able to do so without a trip via the cartel's toll booth, then I think this contradicts the advice given by the FSF. Sure, you can claim that people aren't obliged to pay up to the cartel, but that's like claiming people don't have to pay their road tax or their television licence.
What do you call the "FSF's legal opinion" on the matter?
Well, I referenced the advice given by the FSF to the GStreamer project above and in a previous comment. If that's not their legal opinion then maybe you ought to tell the GStreamer people.
Your bitterness does FFmpeg a disservice. We're a big part of the free software computing stack, thus making Desktop Linux viable. In this day and age, computing without multimedia support is unthinkable.
I'm not bitter about FFmpeg, although to claim such a thing makes for a great distraction from the points being made in the original article(s). I'm merely pointing out that there are valid reasons for considering other multimedia technologies that don't appear on the MPEG cartel's pricing menu.
(And really, I don't have that much to say about Theora, so maybe you're grouping me together with a bunch of other people. Now something like Dirac is interesting because it's definitely a "professional" format and one whose patent infringement status has been thoroughly investigated by an organisation who should be able to comment on such matters with some certainty. I'm sure that some people might like to brush such formats aside and insist that everyone should get with the MPEG programme - in which case I'd really have suspicions about those people if their arguments were not limited to "it's what people on Windows expect".)
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