[Theora] Independent implementations?

Freun Laven FreunLaven
Wed Jul 14 11:28:12 PDT 2004

<40F575B5.5030108 at gmx.net>
Message-ID: <000e01c469d0$54ce8070$40389c3f at computername>

From: "Maik Merten"

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

You do raise a good point.  And several more later.

> 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 ;)

The only stuff official was on the vp3 site.  There might have been stuff
posted by Xiph on Theora long ago, but if so, it's gone.

> > Where is the original statement from them?  Where is the original code
> > gave Xiph?
> Does that matter?

Apparently it does to the guy who was wanting to know about the patents and
whether it was okay to write one from scratch, or whether he had to use the
given code as a starting point!

If you are a developer and thinking about doing your own implementation, you
do need to work out the legal details (including patents) before you start.
And you gotta know whether you can even write your own or whether you have
to work on existing code.

Only the original licensing (probably included with the original code) can
answer that for certain.

> AFAIK Xiph.org was not involved in On2?s original decision to go
> open-source.

I wasn't involved in any of those activities, however I did visit the vp3
site shortly after it opened and on2 released the source.

They definetly talked about Xiph etc. right from the start.

There had to have been some communication between them prior to the release.
I don't know whether Xiph approached them and suggested open source, or
somebody in On2 thought about open source and approached Xiph.  Possibly the
later, since at least one On2 guy seems to be 'involved with' / 'interested
in' Theora.

It's possible On2 gave Xiph a simplified version, but it wouldn't make much
sense to give them a much more open one and then give everybody else a more
closed one.  After all, Theora is open source, so if that was more open,
then that would defeat the purpose of releasing the more restrictive one on
the vp3.com web site.

That would still raise the questions of:  1) where is the original code On2
gave to Xiph; 2) What exactly was the license?

I still find it very *very* difficult to believe that one paragraph is all
that On2 had to say about things.

I'm not a developer planning on doing my own, so this is somewhat academic
for me.  I just thought I could help by posting the license that On2
officially distributed with their vp32 source.

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