[MPlayer-dev-eng] KiSS of copyright
ivan at cacad.com
Mon Mar 15 00:54:08 CET 2004
It looks like the people don't quite understand what's the
problems with KiSS negotiation.
Here is my point of view.
Gabucino handles Web page, news and flames. We could say
that Gabucino has been assigned by Arpi challenge KiSS.
But he did more than that.
Peter W. Christensen have send letter to Gabucino saying
that they will be happy to start dialogue with people from
MPlayer and ask Gabucino is he the right person to contact.
Gabucino says YES.
On next letter Peter ask Gabucino, could all these letter
stay confidential, and be disclose only after mutual
Gabucino says YES. And then requested from Peter to
CC: mails to Arpi. Peter says that Arpi is binded by same
conditions (Arpi have not confirmed that he knows how
negotiation are going, and only the first mails have
CC: to him. Anyway it may be possible to extend this to
Next Gabucino does its best, it sends list with known
licence violations (BSD, libjpeg, libmad etc..) and asking
for full source of KiSS firmware to be released under NDA,
In next letter KiSS solve the other licence violations
and offer 2'500.
(Gabucino give bank account?)
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THAT GABUCINO HAVE NOT
DONE WHAT HE HAVE PUBLICALY STATED
It's not even close.
This negotiation will ruin MPlayer developers reputation.
Read the news announcement, it looks very clear that
Gabucino said that MPlayer want KiSS to release their
code under GPL. Without sign of any other possible solution
(I thought that negotiations have succeed in that!).
>From the mails it is very clear that he requested that
the source code should be inspected under NDA.
Gabucine abandon it's position! He also abandon it's
previous position. He even stated that he doesn't "believe
in RMS bullshit".
"<Gabu_note> what about digging the RMS-ism very deep at
the end of the garden, and take a huge dump on it?"
He says because they prefer to go bankrupt rather than
complain GPL. Hell, then they will bankrupt.
He don't actually have position to defend. He takes the
first that they gave him and he is happy that he got
He got cash and forgot what he have stated.
"<Gabu_note> iive: in case you didn't notice it,"
"that was to make them shit in their pants"
The question is in principle.
MPlayer is community project, we are community of developers.
Gabucino cannot take legal moves without our permission.
Gabucino have misleaded Peter that he represents the
whole MPlayer project and all developers. In fact even
Arpi could not do that, as he is not Project Leader
anymore. (yes arpi have most of the copyright of the
code but not full copyright, look at reiserfs in contrast)
Gabucino cannot keep us away from negotiation. Every time I
asked for KiSS news in #mplayerdev I got silence. Believe
me or not but I expected that KiSS will contact via
Gabucino have not the right to hide the mails of
negotiation. Nor he can give only edited selection
of them. If he doesn't trust developers he should not do
anything from their name.
Gabucino had informed most of copyright holders
post-factum. I guess he told them something like
"Do you want we to get $2500 donation from KiSS?"
without more details (I think Al3x said something
in this spirit). Even if he did inform them for
every step, they cowardly have not confirmed that.
Gabucino doesn't want to reveal the lawyer he has consulted
with. Hey, this is our lawyer, he should represent our
It is still not clear what the agreement is. I mean
do the copyright holders gave permission KiSS to
use their code in exchange of the money, or the
donation is only matter of good will?
You see it is a huge mess, and it should be sorted out ASAP.
We need prove from KiSS that they have removed the code.
KiSS should be used as edification. We got them red handed.
If you read the mail they don't even say that they had took
the code, but that it is "very much ispired"!!
The punishment should be moral, not financial, but
could include some expensive goods.
//------- part 2 ---------
What to do now ?
1. We should decide do we want to defend MPlayer code base.
Do you care? If you are going to wait somebody else to make
something, then it is done.
If you are happy from the current form of negotiation say
so, and I will abandon all my requests.
2. Developers need place that they can discus without
been in public. Gabucino refused to send the mails
to mplayer-legal, because it is too public. I guess that
Arpi could make automatic subscription for all developers
(receiving mail may be turned off, anyway active developer
should not do that) and password protected mail archives.
3. We need to choose representative body. Mails to Peter
should be send from the name of all developers. It may be
one developer, lawyer, or all developers could compose and
edit the future mail. In all cased everybody should help
as mach as they can.
I hope that Gabucino won't be elected. As Arpi says that
even the matrix cannot control him.
4. We should request the contaminated code from KiSS. At
first we should take the subtitle reader code, that we
know for sure is contaminated. This is a proof!!
If they really want to negotiate they will do it. We
could easily take it on the first stage of a trail (we
could take all their source, look at SCO vs IBM - discovery
It would be good if they provide listing of their source
tree (files, changes, but without actual code). Later we
may request some specific items or all the code.
We know that they have taken our text subtitle reader, but
they could have also taken vobsub and spu (bitmap
subtitles), that cannot be identified by "fingerprints".
Be aware that for KiSS may not be possible to release all
the code under GPL. They may be limited by external
contracts, licenses etc. Anyway, we should try force them
to open what is possible under OSS license, and provide
the rest in binnary form.
5. We should seek a legal help. I guess that FSF would agree
to give us legal help for free or % of negotiation cash. If
things get serious they could recommend us a lawyer.
After all we need somebody with experience.
6. We should decide what do we want.
Documentation? Great, we need every documentation we can
have (the interesting ISO documents cost money).
Licenses & Patents? Hmm if this doesn't conflict with GPL.
Yet again we need legal help on that we could and could not
7. We should make sure that the code is replaced. I'm not
aware is the code present in their stock DVD player. In this
case the firmware update may not be enough. They should
STOP SELLING contaminated players. If they have not done
this after they had confirmed that there is really code
infringement, they may be held accountable in court.
8. We may request from them to open their new subtitle
reader under GPL. As they hold copyright it won't be issue.
We may start use their code if it is better (i doubt:).
This would be proof that GPL don't bite if you don't kick it.
9. The coder that took our code should not take salary and
any other money from KiSS for one month. (IBM research say
a good coder can write 25 lines BUG FREE code a day,
1000 /25 = 40 days). He may have family, children.
He won't risk another such punishment. And nobody will dare
to copy bigger parts from FOSS project!! (If him boss is
responsible too, he deserve same edification)
10. We need to calculate the possible revenue if copyright
case is won. Just follow the logic - subtitle reader is
essential for DivX movies in non English countries. This
player is more expensive because it can run DivX movies.
=> people won't buy it if that functionality is not present.
Now you see why they want to negotiate. Such "worse"
scenario may mean bankrupt for them.
11. We could cooperate with KiSS. If they release all docs,
we may be able to make mplayer work on their hardware. They
could give one free DVD player for every developer (so we
can experiment with it:). This way nobody will loose, and
KiSS MPlayer will become world dominant!
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