Flash Player 9 on OpenMoko?

Christian F.K. Schaller christian at fluendo.com
Thu Mar 22 17:03:03 CET 2007

Hi Nils,
Been discussing this with various organizations over the last few years
as part of working with distributions and embedded makers and the
response of most lawyers involved is that they don't think the
combination of non-free GStreamer plugin + LGPL GStreamer framework +
GPL application is ok. Do tend to feel that it violates the GPL license
of the application. This is part of the reason for why Novell made
Banshee MIT licensed, why we have worked with Totem to make its license
GPL+exception and why Pitivi is LGPL. 

MIT plugin + LGPL framework + GPL application is not ok either to make
that clear. As the GPL requires you to ensure that everyone downstream
have the same rights to use the code as yourself with no
extra limitation beyond the GPL. You can not do that with something like
MP3 as people downstream will often need to get a patent license from
Frauenhoffer etc. to be able to legally use the decoder/encoder.

So for both of the examples above the demands GPL of the application
applies to both the framework and its plugins when distributed together.
So to make it doubly clear its not the patent holders rights which are
claimed violated, but the that of the copyright holders of the GPL code.

I am not a lawyer and as always in these things people need to get their
own legal advice on these issues from a lawyer before making any
decisions. So this opinion on the interpretation of the GPL and how it
interacts with enforced patents is based on the legal advice we have
gotten, its the legal conclusion most companies and their legal teams
make and its the interpretation the FSF has told us they think is the
correct one.


On Thu, 2007-03-22 at 14:33 +0100, Nils Faerber wrote:
> Christian F.K. Schaller schrieb:
> > Gnash would probably be of no interest to any shipping a commercial
> > product as the GPL license of it will conflict with enabling mp3 and
> > flash video support. swfdec is LGPL though so as long as the mp3 and
> > flash video support comes from external libraries it will be fine.
> Hmm... I do not see any problem here.
> You could use GStreamer for that which can have commercially licensed
> codecs and which in itself is LGPL and can be linked to the application
> without any licensing problem.
> And even if you would implement the codecs in the player then you still
> have no problem e.g. with MP3 and many others. The problem is not the
> sourcecode but the license for usage. There are free codecs for MP3 and
> other around, in terms of sourcecode. But you may, due to darn sotware
> patents, not be allowed to actually use them - especially not in a
> commercial product.
> You would "just" have to buy a license which will only allow you to use
> the technology. This has nothing to do with the concrete implementation,
> which is actually up to you.
> For GStreamer, Fluendo sells license packs for the most common audio and
> video codecs - thanks to Fluendo!
> > Christian
> Cheers
>   nils faerber

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