Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 33

Thread: Super! Patented Mesa Floating-Point Is Merged!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    983

    Default

    allquixotic: IANAL an all that, but this situation is pretty much the same as with some video codecs (H264 and others) and it isn't something endusers need to worry about, only distributors.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    297

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    My last question: Does anyone seriously think that a patent holder on a ClosedGL patent is going to go after end-users for compiling this software themselves, for their own personal use on their own computer, without distributing it to anyone?
    Of course not. How would they ever know?

  3. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HokTar View Post
    Now we only need an option in installers to enable patented 3D stuff just like the support for mp3 and flash in the ubuntu installer.

    Or at least a ppa.

    On the other hand I think now the main focus should be on enabling ogl 3.3 on supported hardware asap. I know there's a lot work left but you should get my point.
    You could switch to Gentoo Linux. It lets you turn stuff on that other distributions keep off.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    297

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    You could switch to Gentoo Linux. It lets you turn stuff on that other distributions keep off.
    And on that note, I just pushed a change to the x11 overlay that adds a texture-float USE flag.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    445

    Default

    If they kept the floating point and other patented stuff in separate files the chances for bit rot would be very low.

    This situation still comes over as dangerous.

    Hopefully it's 2018 is going to be here fast.
    (Filing Date:06/16/1998 + 20 years = 06/16/2018)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,243

    Default

    Code:
    configure: WARNING: Floating-point textures enabled.
    configure: WARNING: Please consult docs/patents.txt with your lawyer before building Mesa.
    LOL.
    Note to my lawyer: I didn't actually build mesa, just ran autogen. I swear!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    3,773

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mattst88 View Post
    And on that note, I just pushed a change to the x11 overlay that adds a texture-float USE flag.
    I believe you got the USE flag wrong though

    http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=363747

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Code:
    configure: WARNING: Floating-point textures enabled.
    configure: WARNING: Please consult docs/patents.txt with your lawyer before building Mesa.
    LOL.
    Note to my lawyer: I didn't actually build mesa, just ran autogen. I swear!
    an he only remember you to ask you lawyer _before_ you build it ^^. Autogen != build.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    This is great news, but it raises a lot of questions.

    Is this essentially the same situation as ffmpeg is in with patented codecs? If so, third party apt and yum repositories will probably start building mesa with these config options turned on before long.

    If "I" (hypothetically) live in and host a server in a country where software patents are outlawed, is it legal for me to distribute compiled binaries of the program containing patented algorithms, to: (a) people who are *also* in countries where software patents are outlawed; and (b) people who are in countries where software patents are *legal*? Further, what is my risk of getting sued in foreign courts by patent holders who accuse me of distributing it to people in category (b), whether or not I ever have?
    Your risk of being sued is probably close to zero. Seriously, it's not in SGI's interest to sue "users" offering this code in their repositories. Have you seen any third party repos being sued by MPEG-LLA? Typically license holders are looking for big fees. Red Hat, on the other hand, would be a compelling target if these were included.

    Finally, would it be possible for someone to go "the Fluendo route" (alluding to their work with their Gstreamer codecs), and legally license the patents in such a way that SGI/S3/Apple/Nvidia/Matrox get their fscking money, while still allowing people to use the latest and greatest Mesa with all the patented algorithms enabled? etc. ...
    IIRC, the Fleundo purchases only licenses the user of the decoder and encoder. Your licenses doesn't extend to the distribution. I.e. if you distribute the licensed codec, you are not able to grant your patent license to the people you distribute the code to. That is why patent licenses are not compatible with free software. Software that is copyleft but patent licensed places addition restrictions on those who receive copies of the software, because they have no license from the patent holder.

    So, if you were to license the code from SGI, build it, and provide gratis access to the public, the public would still not be legally entitled to use the code because the patent license is valid for you only.

    Of course, it's possible for patent holders to grant licenses favourable to free software. For example, I believe the Java patents are granted unilaterally to GPL implementations derived directly from the official source

    Unless they just want to say "no" in order to stonewall free software, and no other reason. I could definitely see Nvidia doing that, and maybe SGI. Apple actually releases and relies upon significant open source software, so I think they might agree to let go of their patent under these terms.
    Considering Apple's position on h264 and their many software patents targeting the mobile platform, I think it's highly unlikely that they (or any other company without a stated commitment to free software) will throw away competitive advantage and give a favourable license to free software. In fact, why would they, when an open source desktop is one of their competitors?

    My last question: Does anyone seriously think that a patent holder on a ClosedGL patent is going to go after end-users for compiling this software themselves, for their own personal use on their own computer, without distributing it to anyone? The number of end-users they would be able to sue would probably be measured in the hundreds or low thousands -- that's not nearly as lucrative as the music and video copyright cartels and the hundreds of millions of users out there who've ever downloaded a song. Considering that a lawsuit in this area costs a ton of money, the lawyers would end up keeping most of it, and the company would get very little out of your average person. With so few people willing to compile Mesa themselves, this doesn't seem likely to ever become a real issue for personal users.
    No, no one actually believes patent holders will be going after individual users. What they do believe is that patent holders will be targeting commercial entities that have a potential revenue stream. This means that those larger companies (like say, Red Hat or Intel) won't be supporting the patented technology and thus won't be spending much developer time on it.

    Without "commercial" support, those technologies will not be part of the default ecosystem, and third-party applications will not be able to rely on it presence. For something like graphics drivers performance, this is a pretty big deal. If open source drivers can only get better performance using unsupported code and (in many places) illegal code, the open source driver becomes much less of a priority for programs that require better performance.

    It's the same with any software patent. You are at a competitive disadvantage if your product requires patented code that you cannot obtain a license for.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Third Rock from the Sun
    Posts
    6,581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yesterday View Post
    Considering Apple's position on h264 and their many software patents targeting the mobile platform,
    Apple has very few patents regarding h264. Nokia even has more patents against it as does educational institutions like Columbia. Sometimes I really think people point out apple because "all the other kool people do it".

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •