Re: GNOME-media on the road to 2.4.0

On Thu, 2003-08-14 at 05:07, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     If a proprietary or patent-licensed mp3 plugin is clearly
>     independently written (does not contain gstreamer code) and gstreamer
>     only accesses it via generic, well-defined interfaces it would use to
>     access any other plugin, then the plugin may not be a derived work of
>     gstreamer and thus the GPL does not apply.
> Here I am assuming that the license of gstreamer is the GPL;
> I don't actually know what its license is.
GStreamer is and has always been LGPL

> If the interface protocol is specific to gstreamer,
> then all the plug-ins are inherently extensions to gstreamer.
> Unless the copyright holders of gstreamer add an exception,
> the GPL would apply to these plug-ins.  The plug-ins would
> not have to be GPL-covered themselves; rather, they would have
> to have GPL-compatible free software licenses.  (For instance,
> the FreeBSD license is a GPL-compatible free software license.)
> If the interface protocol is common to gstreamer and other real
> programs, that reasoning would not go through.  In that case,
> non-free plug-ins could be designed to speak this protocol,
> and the user could use them with gstreamer.

> Whether or not a non-free plug-in is legal, we certainly cannot
> distribute it or even tell the users about it.
> By contrast, we can tell people where to get a free plug-in
> that might be covered by patents in some countries but can be
> used in others.  That is what we should do.
Well the problem at hand here is that we have GStreamer a LGPL framework,
we have libraries under the LGPL and GPL implementing codecs and
containers formats that might be covered by patents in some countries.
The libraries have GStreamer plugins made for them. We then have GPL
applications who calls upon these libraries using GStreamer. So the
question is if the applications can legally be distributed in countries
where patents might apply or if GStreamer insulates them from the GPL vs
Patent conflict.

> The right way to solve the MP3 problem is to urge people to switch
> to OGG.
True, and GStreamer wants to help people do this by having functionality
to transcode mp3's to oggs, quicktimes to Matroskas and so on

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> gnome-multimedia gnome org

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