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A Possible Workaround For The S3TC Patent Situation

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  • #31
    Originally posted by mark_ View Post
    so... did anyone involved in mesa ask S3 already if it's ok to have a free implementation, or do we have to speculate for the next 50 years whether there might be some legal problems or not?
    I presume by "S3" you mean "HTC"....?
    The issue here is that HTC needs patents to fight off the patent trolling of the steves (jobs and balmer). If S3TC gets freely implemented under an open source license with the blessing of HTC, then all the steves need to do to defang that patent is to publish the source to that very small subset of their code.

    In fact, if you ASK HTC for permission, they will *DEFINITELY* say no. If you IMPLEMENT it after asking and being turned down, they MUST litigate to protect the validity of the patent. If you do NOT ask but DO implement it, they have the freedom to "turn a blind eye".

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    • #32
      Originally posted by curaga View Post
      While I too think it's better to have low quality over black by default, it really is an US issue. Why should people outside have low quality by default, when they can legally get the better one?
      As you say, its a US issue. Only applies to US based distros. If you want it by default, pick a non-US and non-Canada based distro.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
        It doesn't, and it still sucks for the people affected.

        Just like internet censorship sucks for Chinese citizens. This doesn't mean that our Linux distributions should do THAT by default just because one country has silly laws, either.
        Again... pick a non-US based distro or one that doesn't position itself for distribution within the US. Those probably have it enabled by default.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by divVerent View Post
          • Mandriva (France, but makes profit in the USA)
          I think it is Russian Federation now. And I already heard they managed to cripple new release, so the distro is basically dead. Anyway, russians contribute to worldwide distros directly and mostly do not use russian-owned distros(like AltLinux etc)
          Magea should be from France.

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          • #35
            With the increase of graphics RAM and streaming texture code, this entire compression thing might as well use the ZIP algorithm just for bandwith purposes and decompress with shaders...

            If S2TC is compatible with S3TC and doesn't violate the patent, then who cares?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
              With the increase of graphics RAM and streaming texture code, this entire compression thing might as well use the ZIP algorithm just for bandwith purposes and decompress with shaders...

              If S2TC is compatible with S3TC and doesn't violate the patent, then who cares?
              The performance hit there would be pretty bad - you still really want hardware texture decompression.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                As you say, its a US issue. Only applies to US based distros. If you want it by default, pick a non-US and non-Canada based distro.

                wasn't the S3TC patent the one that involved HW stuff in it that made the whole thing a bit more complicated than the floating stuff which was pure software????

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by sabriah View Post
                  There is one straightforward solution.

                  Ignore the patent.

                  That patent is valid only locally, in the US. Not world-wide.

                  Make a world implementation and only then a crippled US version. This is how e.g. the .gif patents were handled.
                  this patent s3tc is a hard patent in germany! all patents bounded to hardware are hard in germany.

                  Microsoft won in germany in the highest curt with a hard software patent!

                  so its not only a US problem.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
                    wasn't the S3TC patent the one that involved HW stuff in it that made the whole thing a bit more complicated than the floating stuff which was pure software????

                    not more complicated but! Germany do accept hardware bounded software patents!

                    means... S3/HTC can win every law suite in court here in germany.

                    and germany means europe.

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                    • #40
                      Germany is not France nor Sweden nor Finland.

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