[quake3] Mp3 support patch
gnuyen at gnuyen.org
Wed Oct 4 10:25:47 PDT 2006
Xmms uses mpg123 for it's decoding which is developed in germany.
Mplayer is developed in hungary, and has always been of questionable
legality. Their previous claim to legality was that by only
distributing the source (not binaries) and having linking from gpl
sources and proprietary ones, they were not violating the law. Libmad
is made by underbit which has a Thomson patent license, which doesn't
transfer through the terms of the gpl and is thus of questionable
legality for anyone who distributes libmad binaries they've built
themselves. Arguably under the terms of the gpl, this invalidates the
gpl and makes it non free.
Note that Thomson has never stated they wouldn't enforce their patent
portfolio on open-source projects, they stated they have no plans on
charging royalties to producers of non commercial mp3 software. Since
one of John Carmack's stated wishes is that someone would take the quake
source code and release a commercial game with it, and preventing
commercial distribution is a violation of the gpl, this is of
questionable legality. This is why redhat couldn't ship with mp3
support previously, as they were commercial software that was open
That said, it probably doesn't matter if you add it to the source and
disable it by default. If people want it they'll enable it if they can
legally do so, it can't hurt to have a feature if people want it. I'm
only commenting so people realize the possible legal quagmire this could
On Wed, 2006-10-04 at 19:01 +0200, Thilo Schulz wrote:
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> On Wednesday 04 October 2006 18:54, Paul Gnuyen wrote:
> > If you statically link to it you're still in bad shape though, note:
> > "Thomson has stated that individuals using free MP3 encoders are not
> > required to pay fees. Thus while patent fees have been an issue for
> > companies attempting to use MP3, they have not meaningfully impacted
> > users, allowing the format to grow in popularity."
> > Means that people using your software will not be required to pay fees.
> > If you distribute this software however, or develop it you're not
> > protected.
> You let the important part away and now try to prove your point with that.
> The very first sentence of what I quoted was:
> Additionally, patent holders declined to enforce license fees on open source
> decoders, allowing many free MP3 decoders to develop.
> I know this is Wikipedia and I know some information can be incorrect. I
> wonder though, the creators of xmms, mplayer, libmad, and a myriad of
> companies have decided to support it. This really is a non-issue.
> > If you dynamically link it, it probably will make binary shipping a
> > bitch, but I'm guessing that's not the goal?
> On Linux dynamic linking is o.k. in my opinion. On windows it's not (as there
> is no package system where a user could simply install required dlls)
> - --
> Thilo Schulz
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