[vorbis-dev] Vorbis license terms?

David Terrell dbt at meat.net
Mon Feb 14 16:59:41 PST 2000

On Mon, Feb 14, 2000 at 04:42:14PM -0800, Monty wrote:
> > If you want vorbis to become a standard, the best thing you can do is 
> > BSD license it, to encourage adoption.  Pushing a project and a political
> > agenda at the same time willl only hurt both goals.
> The LGPL wasn't chosen for the political agenda (although it certainly has 
> political baggage).

Certainly.  The LGPL was written to temper the political baggage of the GPL,
not mute it, and it's done exactly that.

> BSD code can use our libVorbis and link to it as a lib; BSD packages may also
> modify the lib (or take the lib as an authoritative manual in writing '3rd
> party' Vorbis code).  The only way the LGPL taints BSD code is if the BSD code
> directly borrows blocks of code from libvorbis.  This I suspect is what you
> object to?

My original response was to the "taint everything" post.  The LGPL is 
reasonable enough for most things.

> > Not that I'm trying to spark a license flamewar here, sorry.  Please take
> > my comments with a grain of salt, at best. :)
> Not at all!  This is a good debate to have, although perhaps on the vorbis 
> list rather than the dev list ;-)

We can move, if you'd like. :)

A BSD-like license (or an MIT-X11 like license, if you'd prefer :)
doesn't restrict small corporate developers from building vorbis
players.  When you consider that a lot of the adoption curve of
vorbis will be getting winamp to support your codec, that's not a
small consideration.  Reengineering is certainly possible, but that
favors large companies (Microsoft, AOL) over smaller developers who
would not have the manpower/resources to build their own alternative.

An LGPL distribution would probably be enough for this to be the
case, so the point is somewhat moot.  Since the GPL doesn't prevent
redevelopment, it's really on the honor system anyway.  Why not
acknowledge that with a more free license?


David Terrell           |  "Please note that calling an attacker
dbt at meat.net            |  'lame' is not an approved security method."
http://wwn.nebcorp.com/ |    - Benjy Feen

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