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Subject: Re: Signing off.

Re: Signing off.

From: Andrew 'ashridah' Pilley <>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 22:15:48 +1100

On Tue, 2006-03-14 at 10:25 +0000, Bluechip wrote:
> >They have. Which questions do you think aren't answered?
> How about the legalitites of including an unlicensed MP3 codec?

How exactly is it unlicenced? IIRC, the people holding the patents on it
have given explicit, WRITTEN permission for opensource use of the codec.
I remember this issue coming up a few years back and it being a
non-issue, even tho people knee-jerked and tore it out of a few things
in response.
They don't particularly like you making money off a closed
implementation, but they haven't sued anyone yet, and their statements
to the public would make it difficult for them to do so (since they've
acknowledged and permitted it thus far.)

> Or the legal issues with the copyrighted material which is reproduced
> without express written concent.

I'm not sure what you're referring to here

> Or the use of trademarked names for plugins.

Trademarks are a cloudy issue. The holder needs to be able to claim
brand dilution. Depending on which one you're referring to (about all I
can think of is bejeweled atm, and that's only because i don't know if
it IS trademarked), it's entirely possible that it doesn't dilute it,
ie, it's clearly not pretending to be someone else's product.
Natch, I'm no trademark lawyer, don't be quoting me here, but this is
what I recall from my discussions with a lawyer on the issue (who,
similarly, wasn't a trademark lawyer)

> etc.
> As I said before, The big-3 (ala have claimed that their
> choice on anonimity is based in legal issues.
That may be, I couldn't say, but moving on.

> Their continued breach of the above (very prosecutable) legal issues
> proves that we are being deliberately misled.

You've yet to prove any breaches, except the mp3 issue, which, as I've
mentioned, isn't one, unless someone can point to evidence where this is
no longer the case. And legal issues come in many flavours. Perhaps
they're more interested in being able to help a company identify stolen
code's origin?
After all, if an employee of Iriver donated their mp3 encoder's source
under an anonymous pseudonym, IRiver will most likely sue rockbox in
order to find out whom. I really don't feel that rockbox should be in
the business of protecting anyone under these circumstances.

> So THE question is ...what is the truth?

Conspiracy theorys aside, perhaps they just *want to know your name*!
Trust is a two-way street, and the users of rockbox need to be able to
trust them as much as developers do. It's just another requirement,
along the lines of 'rockbox is written in C and assembly' and 'comments
start with /* not //'. The world is full of requirements.

> Perhaps, just perhaps, if the truth came out, people might react differently.

Of course, there are little green men on earth, Americans never walked
on the moon, and Hoofbeats still mean 'Zebra'.

> >They just don't feel for debating this, because it never leads anywhere.
> Or is it because they have something to hide?
> There is strong evidence of either being true.

No, really, there isn't. Nothing you've said here strikes me as

> >If someone is SERIOUSLY concerned (as you probably are because else
> >you wouldn't make such a drama out of the thing) about this real name
> >stuff and seriously want to help, he/she will most probably choose my
> >option two and fake a name... no problem
> Morals come with a high price. *I* (who am very much in line with
> gl's thinking) am not a liar, don't have enough time to maintain a
> fork and dont hand out my personal details online (for many reasons
> covered to death now).

Which they've respected. No-one's forcing you, and since you're not
being paid, you're not contractually obligated to do anything for
rockbox, and thus, not obligated to give up your name against your will.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that rockbox *should* be picky, if only
because there's far FAR more developers under the sun. So much so that
losing talent really isn't what I'd consider an obstacle to rockbox's
goals. (note, opinion is mine, not rockbox's, since I've only done minor
work for rockbox thus far).

I'm completely in Joel Spolsky's camp (, when he
suggests that if you don't feel 'right' about a potential employee,
don't hire him.

Additionally, I'd be inclined to question the motive behind creating a
society of mistrust by claiming that there may be more pseudonyms than
rockbox realises. No-one stands to gain, and many stand to lose from
such a situation. I'm just glad this is mostly a developer-based list.

Received on 2006-03-14

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