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Re: Royalty free gstreamer plug-in

Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> On 12/23/05, Patrick Barnes <nman64 n-man com> wrote:
> > One of Fedora's policies is to enable downstream rebuilds and
> > redistribution.
> 1) Fedora already has software where rebuilds are constrained by trademark law.
> I can not modify mozilla however i want and rebuild it and
> re-distribute it as "mozilla" because of mozilla's trademark policy. I
> have to get mozilla's permission to reuse the trademark and the
> branding. Fedora is already rebuilding 'impure' in the trademark
> sense.
Fedora is the same way.  You can't modify it and continue to call it
Fedora.  However, you can redistribute it and rebuild it in pristine
form and continue to call it Fedora.  The same is true of Mozilla.  The
free software licenses we support aren't meant to work around
trademarks.  Trademarks are very important, and very different from
patents.  You are not free to build, use, and redistribute technologies
that use patented techniques, even in pristine form.
> >Contracts are a no-go, and it is still no more legal
> > for us to redistribute the source code.
> Are you absolutely sure its not legal to redistribute MIT licensed
> source code without a contract for the patents?  That's not my
> nonlawyer understanding.  My understanding is, for GPL codebases, the
> GPL itself self-terminates your ability to redistribute the sourcecode
> when the patent constraints your ability to use the binary.  This is
> the first opensource, non-GPL codebase for mp3 that I am aware of, so
> whatever understanding we have for how to GPL interacts with patents
> might not completely apply.
> -jef
You've almost got it right.  The GPL self-terminates without patent
freedom.  This means that if you don't have patent rights, you don't
have copyrights either.  With the MIT license, you still have copyrights
even if you don't have patent rights.  The problem is that we would
still need patent rights for MP3 technology to build, use and distribute
this MP3 plugin.  Also, this solution is GPL-incompatible, meaning we
can't integrate this plugin with GPL software.

Patrick "The N-Man" Barnes
nman64 n-man com

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