Open source, closed source, and the value of code

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Tue Mar 1 17:53:59 EST 2016


Robert Mann wrote:

 > Behing the great idea of a Open SOurce, it is surpassing to find
 > so much barriers being built around it.

As Peter explained, for most use cases it's not all that deep.

But for edge cases all licenses can be complex, open source and 
proprietary alike.

The only reason some folks think proprietary licenses are simple is 
because they don't read them. :)

Consider the EULA for Apple's proprietary Final Cut Pro:

The features and even the name imply that it might be an excellent 
choice for a wide range of uses that can include professional work.  And 
indeed I know may pros who've used it; I'm sure many others here do too.

But did they write a fairly hefty check to the MPEGLA patent consortium 
to be legally able to do so?

The Final Cut Pro EULA includes:

    12. MPEG-2 Notice. To the extent that the Apple Software contains
    MPEG-2 functionality, the following provision applies: ANY USE OF
    THIS PRODUCT OTHER THAN CONSUMER PERSONAL USE IN ANY MANNER THAT
    COMPLIES WITH THE MPEG-2 STANDARD FOR ENCODING VIDEO INFORMATION
    FOR PACKAGED MEDIA IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT A LICENSE UNDER
    APPLICABLE PATENTS IN THE MPEG-2 PATENT PORTFOLIO, WHICH LICENSE
    IS AVAILABLE FROM MPEG LA, L.L.C., 250 STEELE STREET, SUITE 300,
    DENVER, COLORADO 80206.

    13. MPEG-4 Notice. This product is licensed under the MPEG-4 Systems
    Patent Portfolio License for encoding in compliance with the MPEG-4
    Systems Standard, except that an additional license and payment of
    royalties are necessary for encoding in connection with (i) data
    stored or replicated in physical media which is paid for on a title
    by title basis and/or (ii) data which is paid for on a title by
    title basis and is transmitted to an end user for permanent storage
    and/or use. Such additional license may be obtained from MPEG LA,
    LLC. See http://www.mpegla.com for additional details.

    Additional use licenses and fees are required for use of information
    encoded in compliance with the MPEG-4 Visual Standard other than the
    personal and non-commercial use of a consumer (i) in connection with
    information which has been encoded in compliance with the MPEG-4
    Visual Standard by a consumer engaged in a personal and
    non-commercial activity, and/or (ii) in connection with MPEG-4
    encoded video under license from a video provider. Additional
    information including that relating to promotional,internal and
    commercial uses and licensing may be obtained from MPEG LA, LLC.
    See http://www.mpegla.com.

<http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/finalcutpro.htm>


Any license can be complex, and all are worth reading.

At least most open source licenses are standardized, so you only need to 
read one or two to understand the terms for thousands of software 
packages.

But every proprietary license can be unique, requiring us to go through 
them all with each version of each package to see what details may lie 
within.

-- 
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com





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