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Re: Re: Re: MPEG-4 patent license issues - libfaad* and libx264* andother codecs.

On Wed, May 03, 2006 at 05:11:38PM +0100, Matthew William Solloway Bell wrote:

> I mean with respect to looking in packages to find out if they have a
> coder or a decoder.

> So, we have a document that supports a reasonable belief that the
> patents that cover parts of the MPEG-4 standard are invalidated by prior
> art.
> But, we have a history of patent enforcement that certainly covers the
> AAC encoding process and may cover the decoding process. As well as code
> that implements the decoding process for both AVC and AAC, we have
> libx264 that encodes AVC in main.
> Should we continue regarding the MPEG-4 patents invalid, for either or
> both of encoding and decoding, or should we remove code?

Well, basically what we have is that a collection of patents were
collectively enforced against a work that included both an encoder and a
decoder.  We don't know which patents it's claimed were infringed by the
work; we don't know which part of the work it's claimed infringed the
patents.  This makes it difficult to draw too many parallels with the
current packages.

OTOH, it looks like these packages currently in Debian do have upstreams,
against whom the patents have not been enforced, correct?  Do we know of
*anyone* who's been C&D'ed specifically for distributing a *subset* of the
code in these packages?  If not, it sounds like the lack of enforcement is
pretty clear to me, do you disagree?

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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