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Byte.com: Don't Bogart That MPEG Decoder - Lawyers vs. Open Source Developers

Feb 05, 2001, 21:12 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Trevor Marshall)

"Last year, I tested a number of MPEG-2 encoders, and found that Tsunami MPEG, written by Hiroyuki Hori, was almost as good as the best of the commercial encoders and offered better configurability...."

"But recently, Hori-san has had to curtail his MPEG-2 development after receiving a threatening letter from an attorney for the industry group called "MPEG LA," which administers patents related to MPEG-2 compression technology. The MPEG-2 functionality has been disabled in recent distributions of Hori-san's software. Even though copies of the earlier software are, of course, scattered all over the Web, it is a tragedy that one of the world's most brilliant minds has been side-tracked by fear of legal action...."

"Clearly, there is a disconnect between the interests of the video industry and the interests of the open software developers."

"It is critical for us all that a compromise be found that will not curtail the enthusiasm of the open source community. It is in the industry's best interest to learn how to work alongside the open source developers, and it is in the best interests of the developers to get the lawyers off their backs."

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