[Theora] Independent implementations?

Freun Laven FreunLaven
Wed Jul 14 08:57:45 PDT 2004

<40F4F0B6.1080109 at gmx.net>
Message-ID: <002601c469bb$536511f0$33389c3f at computername>

From: "Maik Merten"

> Freun Laven wrote:
> > Here is the original license from the original vp32.tar.gz file that was
> > originally distributed on On2's vp3.com site.
> I don?t think this license does apply to Theora. VP3 has been
> open-source before the Theora-project started (with the license you
> cited). For Theora new license-terms were negotiated with On2 AFAIK
> (Theora is under a BSD-like license).

The *patents* still apply, though.  That's different from copyright, which
is tied to a specific implementation.  GNU, BSD, MIT, etc. are all copyright
licenses tied to a specific code, and don't concern themselves with patents.

The guy was originally asking whether it was legal to do an independant
version of Theora, since On2 held the vp3 patents.  And whether the license
for the patents was tied to a specific implementation that you could only
modify but never re-create from scratch.

Since Theora is based on vp3, those patents still apply.

The license for Theora etc. are open, so there aren't any issues or patents
there to worry about.

The license I quoted came from a package that was downloaded from vp3.com
right after they made it open source and 'gave' it to Xiph.  I don't think
any 'new' exclusive licensing terms were given to Xiph.  From what I gather,
Xiph may have negotiated the idea of open sourcing vp32, but On2 gave the
code and rights to everybody, not just to Xiph exclusively for Theora.  At
least I don't remember ever seeing anything new about on2's patents etc. as
related to Theora.

The only official thing I've seen about patents etc. was the official
license that was in the code for vp32.  The only stuff I've seen from Xiph /
Theora has been summaries, such as "we negotiated a license, don't worry."

That license did discuss the patents in vp32, and the rights to use those in
an open source product.

That was their (last?) official vp32 source package.

And if I read correctly, that license does give the authority to create
dirivative works (such as Theora), as well as *new* works that use those
patents.  (Perhaps on the condition it maintains compatability with vp3

So you don't have to worry about the vp32 patents.  You just have to deal
with the copyright licenses (BSD, MIT, GNU, etc.) of the vp32 or Theora code

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