Linked by on Wed 1st Feb 2006 19:53 UTC
Novell and Ximian A demonstration of the next release of Novell's Linux for desktops drew cheers and applause Wednesday, although the final version of the software is not expected for some months. Nat Friedman, the company's vice president of Linux desktop engineering, showed Novell Linux Desktop 10 playing videos and MP3 music files, and exchanging music and photos with an iPod and a digital camera, in a keynote presentation at the Solutions Linux conference and trade show on the outskirts of Paris.
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RE[6]: Novell Shows Off
by thebluesgnr on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Novell Shows Off"
thebluesgnr
Member since:
2005-11-14

"That's a rather simplistic way of looking at things. How do you know that the distros in question don't have a private agreement with Fraunhofer? (No, I'm not saying that any distro I know of does. I'm just floating the possibility.) "

They don't have an agreement if they're using libmad, which is licensed under the GPL. From the GPL:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the
program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."

"Novell hasn't developed any software. "

Novell wrote a music player (Banshee) that can shipped with the patented codec from Fluendo. Rhythmbox, Amarok and other GPL players can't. (edit: Novell is not using the fluendo gstreamer plugin at all, so please ignore this).

Edited 2006-02-02 02:19

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Novell Shows Off
by AdamW on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 02:21 in reply to "RE[6]: Novell Shows Off"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

An agreement is not necessarily a license. Fraunhofer saying "we promise not to sue you if you distribute mad" (or whatever other plugin) isn't a patent license...they've effectively made such undertakings in the past, for free products.

Reply Parent Score: 1

GStreamer is LGPL
by cr8dle2grave on Thu 2nd Feb 2006 03:51 in reply to "RE[6]: Novell Shows Off"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Therefore, unless you happen know of some case law which would support your argument, a GPL'd media player can definitely be distributed which relies upon GStreamer, which itself is distributed with a patent encumbered plugin. I know the FSF has strongly hinted otherwise, but they are posturing. Insofar as I'm aware, nobody has ever succesfully tried to force GPL compliance under this interpretation.

In the case of media players using Gstreamer, those media players don't even technically play media files. They rely on GStreamer to do that for them. Thus whether the mp3 plugin is included or not changes the funtionality of the player not one whit. Media player + GStreamer + plugin does not represent a functional whole as the plugin is entirely seperable. Further, at least in the case of Amarok, GStreamer is only one of multiple media backends which can be used.

Modular software design makes it much harder to enforce the GPL. For instance, the GPL does not extend across a CORBA.

Reply Parent Score: 3