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Mesa Can Now Be Built With Select Video Codecs Disabled For Software Patent Concerns

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  • #21
    Originally posted by OneTimeShot View Post

    There are a lot of features that were added later (the 2007 patents were for DVD h264 - SVC, multi-angle, subtitles, etc), but the timer starts from first public disclosure which was 2003. The basic patents were applied for *before* public disclosure. If you listen to the MPEG-LA, h264 is patented until 2035... but that's just because they add a new optional feature every few years...

    You'll be able to use the original 19 year old h264 reference decoder without paying license from next year. You just can't use features added after 2003. Helpfully, h264 is backward compatible - so the newer features are ignored by the reference decoder.
    No, the timer starts from filing date in the US and most international venues.

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    • #22
      This is good, now we can propel AV1 adoption to even greater heights

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      • #23
        Originally posted by stormcrow View Post

        No, the timer starts from filing date in the US and most international venues.
        The timer starts when the patent is issued (and not just initially submitted, at least in the US), and one of the basic patents was delayed in issuance for a number of years (I don't remember the why, but it was a notable since it was so long).

        And, as you say, other jurisdictions may have different regulations.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by stormcrow View Post

          No, the timer starts from filing date in the US and most international venues.
          Correct. And filing has to be before the first public disclosure... Otherwise the public disclosure itself is prior art and invalidates the patent application.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by billyswong View Post
            I thought patent fee issue has been paid for when one purchase the hardware? Pure software decoders may be a patent concern but driver for hardware decoders look strange for anyone to apply patent charge again.
            So did I, turns out we are both wrong.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by airlied View Post

              So did I, turns out we are both wrong.
              so if I am understanding correctly, while mesa isn't at risk of punishment, any distros (and possibly independent apps) that compile and ship mesa with any HW decoder/encode enabled (prior to this patch) are/were at some degree risk of getting a fine due to licensing?

              thats... rough

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              • #27
                Real enthusiasts will just use some nuclear radiation beam to fry the codecs on the GPU. Boohoo evil companies letting people see some movies. Why not just go the Stallman way and have a computer from 1980? It can't play any video. No software patents get hurt.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by billyswong View Post
                  I thought patent fee issue has been paid for when one purchase the hardware? Pure software decoders may be a patent concern but driver for hardware decoders look strange for anyone to apply patent charge again.
                  Yes this is the horrible reality its not like how you would expect. https://codecs.raspberrypi.com/license-keys/ You see it here with raspberrypi and it hardware lock. The reality here is those enforcing patents don't mandate hardware lock.

                  https://www.mpegla.com/programs/mpeg...nse-agreement/
                  Like the mpeg-2 here the license has to be paid every 5 years for all made devices. Welcome to horrible so you want to use a GPU past when the vendor of that GPU wants you to this now creates a problem of using a no longer patent licensed device.

                  Really it something we don't get told that we should when we by hardware as in how many years are the patent effected features in fact paid up for. Yes I really do wish regulators would step in and say for hardware that patent licenses has to be for life of hardware not X number of years as it is now.


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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by stormcrow View Post

                    For legal regimes in which it matters, GPL v2 does not also grant a patent license to use the code. It was a glaring weakness that v3 is intended to address. That's what you end up with when naive programmers decide to try to change the world. The world slaps them back.
                    That's why I said "even". Aside from that, though, the history of MP3 use on Linux has shown that patents are an inconvenience to individual power users when GPLv2 is in use and nothing more.

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                    • #30
                      Rough, and user unfriendly. But necessary if you make devices which do have SoC chips and do not require the codecs.

                      But if I understand this correctly, it's a concern with hw licensing? So the codecs can be legally shipped, but the entity using them requires a license?

                      Fedora may still opt to drop them and have rpmfusion again to maintain that part if it can be split, but legally distributing them would not be an issue.

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