[Matroska-devel] Licensing question

Christian HJ Wiesner chris at matroska.org
Thu Oct 6 07:44:47 CEST 2005

Hi Ivan,

i am in a hurry writing this, so i bring it briefly to the point :

matroska, the format, is license free. However, some of the code is not. 
If you say you are using matroska for your app, exactly what parts of 
the code have you been using, and what kind of changes did you add ?

About your will to give some form of donations to the project, thanks a lot.


matroska project admin

Ivan Burnin schrieb:

>I've got a licensing question, I know this horse has been beaten to death, 
>but it had a foal.
>Here's the situation. I have an application (pending funding and 
>negotiations) that will be legally distributing video. Because of the nature 
>of the video I have pseudonymed myself because I don't know if the Matroska 
>developers would want to be associated with it (I will gladly denym myself 
>if the developers agree under private disclosure). Additionally, because of 
>the DRM necessary it may be necessary to make changes to the root code 
>(obviously donated back). The initial target viewer is Windows Media Player, 
>so the changes should be fairly minor.
>I'm not concerned about the legal aspects, any half-witted lawyer could 
>guide me through that process, in fact I wouldn't even need a lawyer. 
>Instead I'm asking about the social contract. My view is quite simple; this 
>was developed by people that deserve recognition of their preferred form. So 
>what I'm asking is what form do the developers want this recognition in? I 
>had considered revisiting the earlier suggestion of a licensing authority 
>which would pay some amount to the core developers, or alternately 
>attempting to keep a position available should one of the developers need 
>it. I'm willing to listen to opinions and would actually _like_ to pay some 
>form of licensing fee.
>On the licensing fee, in whatever form. I want to see Matroska become 
>better, and I realize that having licensing fees (in whatever form) involved 
>greatly increases the odds of that happening. Obviously this would be purely 
>a social contract proposition, but you all deserve recognition for your work 
>and I do my best to give recognition where recognition is due.

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