[FFmpeg-devel] Licensing gray area

mark cox melbournemark+ffmpeg
Tue Jul 17 00:09:07 CEST 2007

On 17/07/07, Justin Ruggles <justinruggles at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> Michel Lespinasse wrote:
> > On Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 11:38:35PM -0400, Justin Ruggles wrote:
> >> Diego Biurrun wrote:
> >>> On Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 09:47:07PM -0400, Justin Ruggles wrote:
> >>>> I want to preserve the history in the SoC repository, but some of
> that
> >>>> history has a GPL violation.  Part of the code is copied near-enough
> >>>> verbatim from liba52, which is GPL, but is put under the LGPL header.
> >>>> My subsequent commits will change that portion, rewriting the
> >>>> problematic code, so the result will be okay.  But the violation
> would
> >>>> still be in the source history.  So I'm not really sure how to
> approach
> >>>> this.
> >
> > I was actually quite grumpy about that at the time, though I had not
> > complained to the list. I'm quite glad you've noticed this and about
> > the suggestions earlier in the thread.

IMHO, Justin went about this the wrong way. If you are going to re-implement
existing code under a different licence, you shouldn't even be reading the
existing code. Perhaps i am jumping the gun and you had permission from the
original author to use it as a reference. In the future i would keep it a
secret that you used some other code for reference ;)

> > Note that the original SoC proposal had been to implement E-AC3
> > which is a significant extension over the base AC3 format. If this
> > had gotten done I would not mind about the LGPL license at all -
> > I was only unhappy because the project did not go much farther than I
> had.
> >
> > If you get to E-AC3 first and want that to be under LGPL I'd be totally
> > amenable to that (assuming there is still any of my code left at that
> point -
> > if there is none then I would not have anything to say anyway :)
> >
> Great.  Most, if not all, of it will indeed be removed.  I did find a
> couple of other sections that appear to be derived from liba52, so I
> have planned to go through the code very closely before changing the
> license of that file back to LGPL.  I'm glad to hear that you're
> amenable to LGPL though.  If I find any minor things left which are from
> liba52 that I don't feel like rewriting I'll run them by you before
> proceeding with the license switch.
> As far as E-AC3 goes, so far the bulk of the new code is bitstream
> parsing for the new format.  Implementation of the "enhanced" algorithms
> will come with new samples which actually use them.  Maybe some will be
> implemented as preliminary ideas, but will require testing with
> as-yet-undiscovered samples.
> Thanks,
> Justin
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