Re: [gst-devel] Re: Helix Player virtual team meeting

Hi Rob,

On Thu, 2003-12-11 at 23:26, Rob Lanphier wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-12-11 at 02:59, Thomas Vander Stichele wrote:
> > I want the users of my framework to have access to them, not myself.
> I guess if you want users of GStreamer to have access to RealAudio and
> RealVideo, you'll need to go through the same expensive combination of
> licensing and R&D that we did.  
> You might be able to convince us to come up with a license for use with
> GStreamer, but I'm not optimistic.  The challenge is that RealNetworks
> wants the industry to standardize on Helix, and uses RealAudio and
> RealVideo as incentives to move to Helix.

I'm seeing a catch-22. Can you explain why this is wrong?

1) RealAudio/Video is not licensed such that it can be used in other
open source projects

therefore 2) The RealAudio/Video codecs are in a non-Free license

so 3) why should the community help if they cannot use these codecs in a
completely Free library stack?

The thing is, if the codecs aren't Free to modify, then Helix when using
these codecs is not fully Free either. So basing anything on Helix means
we end up using a non-Free media platform. So people won't/can't
contribute to it.

> That's the bad news.  The good news is that we're willing to invest
> heavily in Helix, and plan to build up a large industry-wide ecosystem
> on top of Helix.  It already is a great hybrid of open source and
> commercial licensing, and the more successful we are with it, the more
> we'll invest.

You're using the word "commercial" where you should be using
"proprietary", it's quite possible to build a business model
("commercial") around open source licenses (see Red Hat, Sun). Just a
linguistic point :)

> > How hard can it be to
> > a) make binary-only codecs freely available without clickthrough license
> Very.  We have very specific licenses to our codecs, and we're
> contractually bound to specific terms.  Moreover, as stated above, we
> don't make money on codecs.  We *pay* money for codecs.  We make money
> off of Helix, so we want people to use Helix.
> > b) write a GPL/BSD/Real License/... API and library for using them
> So that you don't have to use Helix?  And why would we do that if our
> goal is for you to use Helix?

I think, if Helix is a super-master-class media library, we'll end up
using it. If the whole thing is Free. (We're talking deep-future here,
of course.)

If gstreamer trumps helix, we'll end up using gstreamer. In Open Source
software, the way to get people to buy-in to the technology is by being
the best. Holding the codecs hostage to a proprietary license where they
can only be used by helix won't get people to develop helix because
writing software that _avoids_ the use of proprietary licenses is what
keeps them ticking.

Andrew Sobala <aes gnome org>

My own views, not the GNOME Foundation's, la la la.

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