[MPlayer-dev-eng] Relicensing MPlayer or parts of it to LGPL

wm4 nfxjfg at googlemail.com
Sun Sep 25 16:11:51 EEST 2016

On Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:43:25 +0200
Carl Eugen Hoyos <ceffmpeg at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2016-09-25 14:09 GMT+02:00 wm4 <nfxjfg at googlemail.com>:
> > On Mon, 28 Dec 2015 18:52:43 +0000 (UTC)
> > Carl Eugen Hoyos <cehoyos at ag.or.at> wrote:
> >  
> >> wm4 <nfxjfg <at> googlemail.com> writes:
> >>  
> >> > To avoid this, I'm thinking of relicensing mpv to LGPL 2.1  
> >>
> >> Complete unrelated to the fact that at least one of the
> >> original copyright holders was strongly against such a
> >> relicensing:  
> (This is of course also relevant, apart from below.)
> >> Please don't, you cannot ask all authors, we even failed
> >> for a single file in FFmpeg.  
> Allow me to repeat this to make sure I am not misunderstood:
> We failed for a single file (!) in FFmpeg first to produce a
> complete list of people who have to be asked (the original
> authors of the file were forgotten) and when this was understood
> we failed to contact the original authors, no active email address
> could be found.
> I do not believe it is realistic to assume you can contact all
> people who have made non-cosmetic contributions to the "core"
> of MPlayer.
> [...]
> > https://github.com/mpv-player/mpv/issues/2033  
> I don't understand this issue:
> It contains a long (but very difficult to read) list of people who agreed
> but where is the list of people who have to be asked?

It was used to reach out to github contributors. You'll see some posts
that ping github users like this: @username

This means the github user will be notified over whatever github
notification mechanism the user has enabled. For example, if the user
has enabled mail notifications, the user got a mail. Most people who
replied to this issue are replying because they got such a notification.

As for what users to ask, I'm going through every single MPlayer commit
as well as the AUTHORS file to find contributors. That's indeed pretty
hard work, and I find new contributors all the time.

> > I also wonder whether this can be done:
> > authors which only did minor cosmetic changes of some sort do not
> > have a copyright on the file (consider code reindenting)  
> Sorry if I misunderstand this paragraph (iiuc, we both are not native
> speakers): J-B (who is said to have some experience in the matter)
> has repeatedly explained that every (non-whitespace, not purely
> cosmetic) change creates copyright.
> While I am not sure if he is right, his assumption makes this task
> even more difficult.

I'm considering all this, and my quoted part is in conditional mood
and also from 2015. It's indeed difficult to ascertain at which point
copyright becomes effective.

You're also welcome to verify my work. Of course making sure that the
relicensing is sane is my responsibility, but a few more watching eyes
can't hurt. It's in my interest that the relicensing is clean.

Also, please give me a yes or no whether you give me permission to
relicense _your_ contributions.

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