If the author of MediaCoder uses someone else's software, it's quite reasonable he obeys their rules for that software. He obvisously didn't read the licence for the software (even when asked multiple times). He even makes claims about various software being in the public domain.
Seriously the ffmpeg authors are quite within their rights to be rude to someone VIOLATING THEIR COPYRIGHT. You make it sound like MediaCoder author is the injured party - he is not.
But why bother having a wall of shame, if you're actively hostile to people who try to fix the problem?
If he was he'd do what he was advised to do many times in the issue tracker:
* Read the licences involved
* Hire a lawyer if he doesn't to understand it
* Follow it's terms
Argueing and tweaking things in his EULA isn't part of that solution. It's really not ffmpeg's position to offer him legal advice on how to comply with the licences.
If he genuininly believes he is following the licence, maybe he should talk to his lawyer about defamation?
The concept of the gpl is: I show you my code, if you show me yours. It's about sharing and repriocity.
It's not about snatching the nice tools built by the community, putting a nice gui layer and some extra features on it and closing the source. The fastest way for our friend here to adhere to the license is dropping ffmpeg or releasing his code as gpl. He doesn't seem to be willing to do that.
How would you like people who copy your sourcecode without permission and sell it to anyone?
Seems like pretty shameful behaviour to me.
I understand that the other side is not helping by consistently misunderstanding everything.
At some point, if I was representing the GPL side in the argument, I'd realize that my attitude is not helping the cause and I would either change my attitude or ask another supporter to take over in a more polite way.
It takes energy to remain polite and nice in such discussions, but that's the price for convincing people. Otherwise, you are just an arrogant brat, even if copyright law is on your side (think RIAA - technically, the law is on their side).
Personally I would feel ashamed to know any of them, especially diego who seems to be an abhorrent troll.
So much for 'open'.
I think it is a bit unfair to expect everyone to know the score all the time. A lot of us humans are pretty rubbish. To be honest I think there is a certain amount of vitriol in their writing that makes me think they are enjoying the feeling of superiority and making the guy squirm. Sure they have the moral high ground but they drag themselves down towards his level with their attitude.
This has nothing to do with GPL inquisition. The exact thread could have happened on OpenBSD mailing lists.
Just to note, though, diego was really being an asshole in that thread. Yeah the guy was violating the license, but it's not like suing him is going to do anything other than make him comply with the license. Might as well take 10 seconds and type out what he needs to do and save some time and energy. That kind of rudeness makes me not want to work with the project again as I don't like people being needlessly aggressive over people who aren't actively being malicious. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
With respect to the topic Diego is being somewhat rude, but it's definitely within his rights; one cannot expect a person to be friendly to those who pirate his software. This is primarily the result of hundreds if not thousands of programs infringing ffmpeg copyrights; it has gotten out of control. Almost every single shareware media converter infringes ffmpeg's copyright, for example. After a while, one loses all patience whatsoever--so while I don't fully agree with his approach, I understand completely where he is coming from.
As a simple example, if you insult someone, they are "within their rights" to get mad at you. You may disagree with them getting mad, but the fact that they got mad was not unreasonable.
He is shipping binary only versions of a modified version of ffmpeg. He needs to comply with the licence for that code, which (vastly simplified version) means he needs to supply source in some way.
[Usual disclaimers apply about lawyer, and not being same, especially with regards to the legal obligations]
The main difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that the latter can be linked to (in the case of a library, 'used by') a non-(L)GPLed program, and regardless of whether it is free software or proprietary software. This non-(L)GPLed program can then be distributed under any chosen terms if it is not a derivative work. If it is a derivative work, then the terms must allow "modification for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications."
I'm not arguing that the FFMPEG folks don't deserve respect and adherence to their license terms. Just seems like they aren't really helping themselves here either. If you make a situation confusing you cannot be angry when people get confused. My personal feeling is if you want to do "free software" you should remember the whole free part. The GPL and it's variants are too overtly political for my tastes. The BSD license seems a bit more intellectually honest.
Patents on the other hand pertain to a method of doing something (separate from actual code) and are far from certain and vary widely between jurisdictions. The outcomes are decided in local courts based on a mix of precedent and who can spend the most on lawyers.
In short, copyrights and patents have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
You are correct that software patents can be nebulous. However, in the case of codec patents, like that of H.264, the new MPEG video standard, SCOTUS and patent cases have routinely upheld the validity of similar software patents.
For an overview of relevant statutes, I would point to the USPTO documents, which outline the standards that most software patents are viewed under (by the USPTO and many practicing US patent lawyers). While In re Bilski, recently granted a writ, may present a new view on some of the more spurious (and business-oriented) software patents, it seems that SCOTUS is more than willing to uphold the patents in practical implementation cases.
If this were a discussion based purely on ideology then upholding copyright but ignoring patent rights may be defensible, however to suggest that they will bring legal action to defend their copyright but to ignore or refuse that they should be held accountable in patent litigation is a tad hypocritical.
Also, most of the developers are based in Europe, where software patents are much more dubious than in the US.
Most? I was aware that many were, but I know at least a couple are not. However, in my first comment I was very clear that I was speaking only to US developers -- Europeans, feel free to ignore.
Patents do not apply to the developers, they apply to the users of the software
Not in the United States. "Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent."
On the other hand, distributors of binaries do have to take into account patent laws.
Edit: By the way, don't be fooled, our small legal disagreement doesn't affect my very positive view of you as a person and developer :)
"Under certain jurisdictions, there is a particular case of patent infringement called "indirect infringement." Indirect infringement can occur, for instance, when a device is claimed in a patent and a third party supplies a product which can only be reasonably used to make the claimed device."
If it had extra requirements, it wouldn't be using the LGPL (and I don't think it would even be compatible). Those are just restatements of parts of the license; you can see which sections just by reading it, as it's quite short.