[vlc-devel] Re: Help wanted for small (?) VLC development job
rem at videolan.org
Mon May 21 20:20:22 CEST 2007
Le lundi 21 mai 2007, Jean-Paul Saman a écrit :
> > I am working with a company that wants to use VLC in a (hopefully)
> > widely-distributed set-top-type video receiver box. We are
> > currently hoping to primarily use one particular codec. The
> > problem is that the codec in question is not supported under VLC
> > and (importantly) is non-free.
> If the codec is non-free, then it is not possible to link it with VLC
> and distribute it to your customers. A way around this is having the
> non-free codec in a DSP and interface with it through a DMA or
> PCI-type of channel.
> Pleas read the COPYING file in vlc source code or the GPL license
> text on FSF.org
IANAL (and neither are you), but this is probably not completely true.
For one thing, I believe copyrights infrigements can only be proven in
court. Secondly, I assume that the GPL can only apply to derivative
work, which is a matter of interpretation and quite possibly of
country-specific IPR law implementations.
We do already have several plugins loading external non-free libraries:
Quicktime, DirectMedia Object (not counting that VLC runs on many
non-GPL C runtimes).
And we have the ActiveX (and Mozilla) plugins that makes it easy to use
VLC through non-GPL software, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. I
understand that there might some subtleties with MSIE not being
distributed along VLC however.
I am not a lawyer, but I presume that non-free codecs are actually not
subject to the GPL if they do not depend on VLC themselves and are
dynamic linked through a GPL'd "glue" VLC plugin.
In any case, it is best to triple check the particular case with a
lawyer than make any strong statement (which the damn lawyers will not
make anyway but that's a different story).
Note well: This email is NOT an advocacy of non-free codecs.
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