Patents and Playback? [Re: GNOME-media on the road to 2.4.0]

On Thu, 14 Aug 2003, Christian Fredrik Kalager Schaller wrote:

> Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 08:03:19 +0200
> From: Christian Fredrik Kalager Schaller <uraeus gnome org>
> To: rms gnu org
> Cc: gnome-multimedia gnome org, hp redhat com
> Subject: 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.

> > 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.

> 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.

What are the patent issues specifically?  (I expect this has been asked
many times before but please humour me)

Can functionality be removed to give basic playback (but definately
no encoding and messages explaining why) without infringing the patents?

Do the patent issue really effect even playback?
(I was under the distinct impression that it was the psycho acoustic model
required for encoding on which Frauenhofer had patents)

> > The right way to solve the MP3 problem is to urge people to switch
> > to OGG.

Unfortunately that does not solve legacy issues, but OGG is definately the
way to go for new files.  Reripping and reencoding even a moderately sized
collection is impractical for most people.

> True, and GStreamer wants to help people do this by having functionality
> to transcode mp3's to oggs, quicktimes to Matroskas and so on

I am surprised that you would actually recommend transcoding given the
unpleasant loss of quality, but perhaps
there is some way to transcode from MP3 to Ogg without adding horrible
amounts of artifacting that I dont know about?

Again surely if you can legally transcode you can legally do some kind of
crude playback?


Alan Horkan.

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]