Fluendo MP3 GStreamer Plugin in Main for Dapper?

James Livingston doclivingston at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 13:12:21 GMT 2006

On Tue, 2005-12-27 at 11:00 +0100, Dennis Kaarsemaker wrote:
> It is indeed still not completely free (as far as I understand it ubuntu
> users are still not allowed to modify the source provided by Ubuntu and
> distribute that source or the resulting binaries).

The source for the plugin is under the MIT licence, so you can modify it
if you want. However if you do that, you won't have a patent licence
unless you sign a contract.

> It is however the best license so far for an mp3 codec since it actually
> makes it legal for Ubuntu to provide the mp3 codec this and might make
> this gstreamer plugin a candidate for restricted.

While the licence would let Ubuntu include the plugin, it has issues
when linked to GPL'd software. Several people (who I'd assume to have
legal advice about this) have stated that distributing GPL'd software
linked to the plugin is a violation of the GPL.

The only solutions that anyone has mentioned are a) not shipping the
plugin, or b) not shipping any GPL'd software that uses GStreamer. (b)
could be achieved by either re-licencing the software or shipping
alternate software.

GPL'd GStreamer-based software in main currently includes at least Sound
Juicer, Rhythmbox and amaroK. For the purposes of this discussion the
cdparanoia and cdio GStreamer plugins are also effectively GPL, since
the libraries they use are.

I've heard that S-J is planning to add a licence exception, so that
shouldn't be a problem.

Changing Rhythmbox's licence is discussed on the mailing list (see
http://mail.gnome.org/archives/rhythmbox-devel/2006-January/msg00005.html). There is currently some reluctance, due to the fact it will mean we can no longer use any GPL'd code.

amaroK is more problematic, since it links to GPL'd libraries. The fact
that QT and a lot of KDE libraries are GPL'd, means that distributing
any KDE GStreamer-based software in conjunction with the plugin would be
an issue.

Since both cdparanoia and cdio are GPL'd, I think this would mean that
the Fluendo mp3 plugin couldn't be shipped with any of the plugins that
a neccessary for supporting cd playback. Not having cdparanoia or cdio
would make Sound Juicer kind of useless, if it can't read audio CDs.


James "Doc" Livingston
Prediction is difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
Url : http://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/attachments/20060110/4cc22a9c/attachment.pgp

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list