[whatwg] Google's use of FFmpeg in Chromium and Chrome

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Sat Jun 6 13:35:06 PDT 2009

Also sprach Daniel Berlin:

 > >>> "For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free
 > >>> redistribution of the Library by all those who receive copies directly
 > >>> or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it
 > >>> and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the
 > >>> Library."

 > Note that the actual *clause* (not the example) in question says
 > "If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your
 > obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations,
 > then as a consequence you may not distribute the Library at all. "
 > It then gives the patent example as an example of when you could not
 > fulfill your obligations under the license.  The restrictive license
 > in the example falls afoul of this condition (part of #10): "You may
 > not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the
 > rights granted herein."  Nothing in any licenses we have with other
 > parties imposes any *further restrictions* on the recipients who get
 > ffmpeg from us.  You get *exactly* the same set of rights and
 > obligations we got from ffmpeg.
 > As such, we can simultaneously satisfy our obligations under this
 > license (which again does not require us to pass along patent rights
 > we may have obtained elsewhere, it only requires we grant you the
 > rights you find in terms 0-16 and place no further restrictions on
 > you) and any patent licenses we may have, and do not run afoul of this
 > clause.

I get parsing errors in my brain when reading this. While I understand
that you do not impose any new restrictions (as per #10), I still
don't understand how you can claim that #11 (the first two quotes
above) has no relevance in your case. To me, it seems that the example
in #11 (the first quote) matches this case exactly -- assuming that
Google has a patent license that does not permit royalty-free

I also understand that the LGPL doesn't explicitly "require [anyone]
to pass along patent rights we may have obtained elsewhere". However,
it seems quite clear that the intention of #11 is to say that you
cannot redistribute the code unless you do exactly that.

What am I missing?

              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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