[FFmpeg-devel] Searching for a ffmpeg BCLO (bastard chief legal officer)

Diego Biurrun diego
Thu Apr 10 12:23:20 CEST 2008

On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 06:56:22PM -0400, Chris Ribe wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Diego Biurrun <diego at biurrun.de> wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 03:31:45PM -0400, Chris Ribe wrote:
> >  > >
> >  > > There is one more thing you should point out, though: It needs to be
> >  > > clear which version of FFmpeg he is using and what changes he did make,
> >  > > if any.  This is the part that may be interesting to us, there is the
> >  > > chance that some of his changes could be useful.
> >  >
> >  > Alright, I add the following and sent the letter:
> >
> >  Did you send off the letter already?
> I did send the letter, and I received a positive response to it on
> Saturday.   I just sent an acknowledgment of his response.  This
> raises the question of where to copy the correspondence.  Should I cc
> correspondence to this list?  Should I copy it to the issue tracker?
> Should I just summarize the correspondence on the issue tracker?

Chris, we haven't heard from you since.  Are you making progress?  Are
negotiations stalled?  Please give us some sort of feedback so that we
know that you are still working on this and have not disappeared into
a void.

> >  I should note here that regarding the changes made to the source code
> >  it's more important to follow the spirit rather than the letter of the
> >  license.  The idea is that is should be possible (and ideally simple) to
> >  find out what was changed and how.
> >
> >  Having each file contain a changelog is a possible solution, but not
> >  very practical.  A public revision control system is a good solution, as
> >  would be a clear statement which version/revision the code is derived
> >  from and one or multiple diff files.
> While this would be nice, and certainly worth asking for, I can't read
> the L/GPL as requiring it.  It seems to me that we should be careful
> to distinguish between things license violators must do, and things we
> would like them to do.

There are two points to be taken into consideration about this:

1) We can always *ask* and interpret compliance with our requests as a
   sign of goodwill.
2) Once your rights under the (L)GPL have been terminated, there is no
   automatic way to get them back.  Only the copyright holder(s) are in
   a position to restore them and are theoretically free to ask for
   their weight in gold in return.  Note that this has been clarified in
   the GPL v3.


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