[vorbis] Vorbis licensing...
cmh at bDistributed.com
Mon Oct 30 22:47:06 PST 2000
My 2 cents:
I like the fact that Vorbis uses LGPL.
I understand Electronic Arts' concerns. However, I think that if the
Vorbis license is modified that it still include LGPL-like
modification conventions. I don't think it would be right for
Electronic Arts (or anyone else) to be able to apply a specific
optimization (such as the fast mDCT) to the reference implementation
and keep that optimization proprietary; I think that's the cost of
using the reference implementation.
I think a good compromise for companies like Electronic Arts would be
to allow developers to incorporate the Vorbis reference
implementation into a product in binary form without making their
binary re-linkable *so long as* the Vorbis code is included without
substantial modification. In other words, Electronic Arts wouldn't
be able to use their proprietary fast mDCT with the Vorbis reference
implementation, but they *would* be able to port Vorbis to a
processor whose instruction set is under NDA or to a console which
uses a different build system.
The fact that the specification is public-domain allows companies
that do want or need to keep their code closed to still do so and use
Vorbis; they just have to reinvent the wheel during their
implementation. (Or they have to buy someone else's implementation.
It wouldn't surprise me if in a year or so some company is selling an
optimized, closed-source or "closable-source" Vorbis implementation.)
I view this as an acceptable trade-off.
Christopher M. Hanson <cmh at bDistributed.com>
President & CEO, bDistributed.com, Inc.
Developers of database-backed web sites and Mac software
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