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Re: iLBC codec legal status



On Thu, 2008-08-14 at 13:29 -0400, Casey Dahlin wrote:
> Jeffrey Ollie wrote:
> > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 10:00 AM, Peter Lemenkov <lemenkov gmail com> wrote:
> >   
> >> ILBC is a low-bitrate codec used in many OSS and commerciall
> >> applications. However its legal status isn't clear at least for me.
> >>     
> >
> > [...]
> >
> >   
> >> Is it acceptable for inclusion into Fedora?
> >>     
> >
> > No, it is not, because it places unacceptable restrictions on commercial use.
> >
> > I had to strip iLBC from Asterisk tarballs for quite a while until
> > Digium finally removed the code themselves.
> >
> > Jeff
> >
> >   
> Is the restriction on the reference implementation or the codec itself? 
> If the latter, could someone not re-implement it without looking at the 
> reference implementation?
> 
> My understanding is Copyright couldn't prevent someone from 
> re-implementing and using their code under whatever license. Patents, 
> however, could.
> 
> I2ANAL
> 
> --CJD
> 

It is most likely on the reference implementation but IANAL. At IETF 72
a couple of weeks back they talked about there being concerns with the
licenses used on code generated for RFCs and at IETF hackathons.
Apparently there were concerns by a lot of people about the license used
on the code so they moved effective as of that talk all new code to a
BSD license. You could contact the ISOC to see if they would be willing
to update the RFC with the license on the reference code changed to the
approved BSD license. Since they are the copyright holders they could
just avoid releasing an RFC altogether and just re-license the code and
release it. I don't know how quickly you will get that done though as it
will probably need to be discussed at one of their monthly telecons.
Also I don't know how reasonable that statement is in the license that
you have to comply with the Global IP Sounce iLBC Public License. If the
code is marked the copyright of the ISO then it seems like they would
hold the rights to decide its license. However it is unclear whether the
original authors still retain the copyright as well or if it was
relinquished to the IETF Trust aka ISO. I think it would be your best
bet to contact them about what the exact license for it is and explain
your situation and see what they can do.

http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ipr-wg/current/msg05682.html

Dave


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