Re: Ah, another patent encumbered format @JDX
But it is not just the software. In your comments, you're assuming that the people who write an alternative implementation have ripped off your code.
This is always about software patents, not the code itself. OK, you write a nice implementation, your code should be protected, I totally agree. But the algorithm used should be open, so that someone can provide an alternative implementation. If you can prove that they copied your code, then I would support you suing them through every court in the land. But if they wrote their own, through their own efforts.....
It's a serious dilemma, I admit, but all the time we have ambitions to produce a truly free operating system suitable for everybody,, then we have these problems.
I could (although with some reluctance) support going to a model where the OS is free, but the licensed codecs you need have a reasonable cost associated with them (in line with the H.264 charges that seem entirely reasonable). That is how it was in the early Windows days (remember Windows when it could not play media out-of-the-box and you had to buy software to play music and video), although too many people just copied MP3 and DVD packages on Windows.
If we go to this model, it should be clear that this is the case to users of all operating systems, and maybe other OS vendors should be prevented from providing the software as part of their OS offerings. But this has not exactly been a totally successful strategy in the Browser rulings.
And as long as the alternative implementations abide to the rules on the use of LGPL toolchains, this should not fall foul of any open systems licensing, either.