9 Dec 2004 Uraeus   » (Master)

Spent quite some time today trying to sort out the auto* stuff for libmms and its corresponding gst-mms plugin. Libmms from CVS now at least builds and dists nicely after my fixes, and the patch I sent of to mathrick for gst-plugins merges the plugin into that module nicely. All we need now is for Matrick to fix asfdemux to handle the incoming packets properly. Of course we still need either a native WM9 decoder or a binary dll loader to get video working for most asf streams, but even without that it means we could have our applications supporting wma based webradio's for instance. Libmms is a nice example of cross project pollination as the code is originally from Xine and relicensed to LGPL with the developers permission, a big thanks to Thibaut Mattern who is the original author.

Happy to see Jorn being back in #gstreamer. Seems Ronald's improvements of Totem+GStreamer convinced him that the time has come for getting Muine onto the GStreamer lovetrain.

Discussed a bit today about copyright statements in files and what they mean. Most people include a copyright/license header in their files, but most of those headers are not kept up to date or even point to valid copyright owners AFAIK. I mean in GStreamer most plugins say copyright Erik Walthinsen, cause his name is what is in the template/most other plugins. But since there has been no valid copyright assignment done, this is of course a false statement, the copyright is not Erik's (in most jurisdictions at least), it is still with the author of the code in question. Also people tend not to add themselves to the copyright when they edit the code so even if Erik was the original author, he is no longer the single copyright holder anymore even if the copyright header of the file says so. Secondly a lot of projects, like GTK+ and Xine, state in their headers that the copyright is with the GTK+ project or the Xine project. Which I think is false as there is no copyright assignment done to these projects, and none could be done as they are not legal entities.

The lack of care for such copyright headers raise a few legal questions/problems. For instance it do create some unclarity in case of relicensing request, eg. who do you need to ask. Another question is if invalid copyright headers have any influence on legal validity of the copyright or your ability to defend your copyright in case of a legal struggle. I don't know. I seem to have read that under US law if you don't uphold/protect your copyright you will lose is, which if true, could be interpreted as meaning that if you don't add your name to the list of copyright holders or put in a misleading copyright statement your claim of copyright can more easily be taken away in the case of a lawsuite. I tried looking at the GNU homepage to see if they had any advice on these issues, but I couldn't find anything. If anyone out there know some links that talk about the important/unimportance of these copyright headers please let me now.

A CVS branch has been started by Wim to implement the design proposals he mailed the GStreamer list with recently. Some things are already working well in that branch so hopefully it will soon reach a stage where its enough of a proof of concept to make it an official 0.9 branch. Very cool.

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