[Theora] Independent implementations?

Maik Merten maikmerten
Wed Jul 14 11:04:37 PDT 2004

<000701c469c5$82a7b800$8c649c3f at computername>
Message-ID: <40F575B5.5030108 at gmx.net>

Freun Laven wrote:
> That's not the "original" one.  Not the original official package.  (As you
> said, it probably has bug fixes etc.)

Absolutely correct :)

>>That?s why I think the VP3-license does not apply to Theora.
> That is a possibility.
> But there has never been anything officially posted about the agreement
> between On2 & Xiph.  (Assuming there was a special agreement.)  (At least
> nothing that I remember or that I can find.)

That?s from the license you posted:

"3.1. Application of License.
The Modifications which You create or to which You contribute are
governed by the terms of this License, including without limitation
Section 2.2. The Source Code version of Covered Code may be distributed
only under the terms of this License or a future version of this License
released under Section 6.1, and You must include a copy of this License
with every copy of the Source Code You distribute."

The copy in Xiph SVN obiously comes with a different license. How can
that be?

"6.1. New Versions.
On2 Technologies, The Duck Corporation ("On2") may publish revised
and/or new versions of the License from time to time. Each version will
be given a distinguishing version number."

If the license coming with VP3 in SVN is legally correct (I assume it
is) On2 must have released a new version of the license. This license
happens to be the Xiph.org BSD-like license. It?s very likely there have
been negotiations between On2 and Xiph ;)

> Just look at what all they put into their own open source license.
> That's why I find it hard to believe that one single paragraph is all On2
> had to say about Xiph's license.  (Assuming it was actually different from
> what they gave everybody else.)

The original license is more complicated because On2 reserved some
rights (one example):

- they demand that every modifications comes with the On2 VP3 license
- they reserve the right to change the license

==> It?s necessary to specify what license applies to modifications done
before the license changed.

That?s one exampe of why this license is "bloated".

The BSD-license is simpler: "Do what you want as long as you retain our
copyright-notice - BUT DON?T SUE US!"

Another example where this license is simper:

You can loose your license for VP3 technology with the old license. On2
had to specify under what circumstances this can happen... and lawyers
love circumstances (they will write pages and pages and pages just to
make sure every thinkable flavor of circumstance is covered).

You can?t loose your right to use BSD-software AFAIK (you _can_ be
forced to include the copyright-notice as demanded)

> Where is the original statement from them?  Where is the original code they
> gave Xiph?

Does that matter?

> When the vp3.com site launched, it did talk about Xiph etc. etc., so I don't
> think there was anything special for Xiph.  I think what they posted on the
> vp3.com site was the whole thing.  Xiph didn't later get any special
> conditions.  Xiph just sumarized the long license into something easier to
> read, and quoted one paragraph from On2 to satisfy user needs about On2's
> position.  The whole official license is "on file" with Xiph.

AFAIK Xiph.org was not involved in On2?s original decision to go

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