[MPlayer-dev-eng] KiSS of copyright

Jonas Jensen jbj at knef.dk
Tue Mar 16 22:08:51 CET 2004

On Tue, 2004-03-16 at 21:08, Diego Biurrun wrote:
>  > IANAL, but I think you're wrong. KiSS never accepted the license, so you 
>  > may not enforce it. You may however, force KiSS to either accept the 
>  > license or stop using the software. But it's their choice, not yours. 
>  > Remember the case when Apple accused Microsoft of stealing their video 
>  > code? In the end, Microsoft decided to remove the infringing code 
>  > rather than paying for a license.
> No, you are wrong.
> MPlayer is copyrighted.  To use copyrighted material you need the
> permission of the copyright holder, i.e. a license.  Using copyrighted
> material without permission is a crime in most countries.  MPlayer is
> only available under the terms of the GPL.  By using MPlayer you
> implicitly accept the terms of the GPL, otherwise you would be
> knowingly infringing copyright.
> This is how the GPL works.

Here is the relevant section from the GPL itself:

  4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License.  Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.

The way I interpret that, it means that KiSS lost their rights to
distribute MPlayer-derived code as soon as they violated the GPL, and
you can prosecute them for doing that using the copyright law, just like
the RIAA can prosecute p2p users. I do not see anything about forcing
KiSS to release sources after they violated the GPL.

Jonas Jensen <jbj at knef.dk>

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