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Mplayer Charges License Violation 249

Posted by michael
from the showing-feelings-of-an-almost-human-nature dept.
Several people have submitted stories about the author of Mplayer accusing Warpvision of, err, "borrowing" their code for Warpvision's OS/2 player. I have two reactions - one, someone still uses OS/2? And two, something about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery...Update from CD: Hold on there, everyone. I downloaded the WarpVision source and lo and behold the GPL is there in all its free software glory. I think Mplayer spoke too soon, too rashly, or alternatively, WarpVision was just too slow to update thier site. I'd love to hear both sides of this before we all freak out. Further Info: It was pointed out to me (CD) that the MPlayer program itself is not Open Source software (it calls itself Basically GPL, which, BTW, hasn't been approved by the OSI), so in the end this might just be proprietary software piracy. (Yawn)
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Mplayer Charges License Violation

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  • OS/2 Users (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Mr.Spaz (468833)
    They'll probably still be using it in 2101, too. Watch out; they're a rabid bunch. To imply that OS/2 is on its way out will surely result in a swift and vicious attack.
  • by bconway (63464) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:41PM (#2604698) Homepage
    Michael, please click the link to Mplayer's site. They took the entirety of the mplayer source, changed the output plugin for OS/2, and released it as binary-only. It appears that source has now been released and the issue has been resolved, but at least read the article before letting them off light. They tried to pull a fast one on Mplayer using very little or no code of their own. I don't know if you call that imitation, I call it stealing.
    • You are right on the merits of the case but it was a bit ridiculous for the MPlayer people to overemphasize the "Russia" part - their tirade about this being bad for "Russian" Coders suggests their fiery was perhaps not entirely based on the license violation.

    • Let's Clarify (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oGMo (379) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:14PM (#2604833)
      They took the entirety of the mplayer source, changed the output plugin for OS/2, and released it as binary-only. [...] They tried to pull a fast one on Mplayer using very little or no code of their own. I don't know if you call that imitation, I call it stealing.

      They stole, but this is not what they stole. Using someone else's code is not stealing, since the party whose code is used does not lose their code. Under the GPL, this sort of using is encouraged. After all, this is one of the things Free Software is truly about. So they did not "take" Mplayer's code, or "steal" Mplayer's code, they used it, and that's fine.

      But then, they stole. (If indeed this is what happened... that's what is claimed, and seems to be resolved, and we will for discussion assume it is the case.) They stole from the community the right and ability to reuse and modify the code. This is what the GPL is designed to protect. And this is where we must be careful.

      Code cannot be stolen. No form of "intellectual property" can be stolen by being copied and used. This is not stealing, there is no loss. The loss and theft occurs when the right and ability to modify and use or reuse is taken away. This right is the only thing that can truly be taken away by theft. Let us all beware of such things.

      • Re:Let's Clarify (Score:5, Interesting)

        by unformed (225214) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:52PM (#2604956)
        Under the GPL, this sort of using is encouraged.

        Correct. While complying with the license. By not releasing the source, their right to use the source was gone, and the effectively stole.

        Look at this way: You walk into a car dealership and take a car out for a test drive. Fine, right? There's nothing wrong with that; it's fully legal. Now what if you don't come back? That's grand theft. Try telling the judge you were just "test-driving" the car all the way to Mexico.

        If license violation can be proved to be intentional, that would be considered stealing. Period. (Again, assuming the GPL holds up in court.)
        • Correct. While complying with the license. By not releasing the source, their right to use the source was gone, and the effectively stole.

          Or they just broke the license and committed copyright infrigement. They didn't actually "take away" the code. I do agree they stole---they stole our rights given by the GPL.

          Look at this way: You walk into a car dealership and take a car out for a test drive. Fine, right? There's nothing wrong with that; it's fully legal. Now what if you don't come back? That's grand theft. Try telling the judge you were just "test-driving" the car all the way to Mexico.

          Well that's not really an accurate analogy, since you would have been taking away the car.

          If license violation can be proved to be intentional, that would be considered stealing. Period. (Again, assuming the GPL holds up in court.)

          Well IANAL so I can't tell you the legal term, but I don't think it would be stealing. You'd just be committing copyright infrigement. If the GPL doesn't "hold up" in court, it'd default to your basic copyright, which is "all rights reserved," so... you'd still be committing copyright infrigement.

      • Re:Let's Clarify (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        They STOLE, by trying to GPL something that doesn't wasnt to be GPL'd (and of course the didn't ask either!).
    • It never fails to amaze me how many people will take an off-the-cuff remark and run with it rather than examining the actual situation at hand.

      Here's a general hint that applies to all slashdot stories at all times: we assume you can read and understand the links, and we have at most a few sentences to write about what are often very complex topics. Always, always take the links first and foremost, and don't take offense if the blurb has a flip comment or doesn't seem 100% accurate in every conceivable way. That's why the links are there.

      In any case, the reason I didn't express an opinion like "Warpvision stole the code, they should be shot at dawn" was because it isn't clear, at all, what is going on here. You're only hearing from one side, which is rarely conducive to getting the truth.
      • I get tired of listening to the whiny bastards once they discover kuro5hin.org (which, unfortunately, is down once again.) Blah blah blah Taco's an idiot blah blah blah poor editorial decisions blah blah blah stupid comments blah blah blah Michael is stupid blah blah blah MS-bashing blah blah blah.

        Quite frankly, I find nothing wrong with Slashdot. What I think is wrong with Slashdot is a userbase that not only doesn't understand how Slashdot works, but can't be bothered to understand it before they run around screaming about how "bad" Slashdot is. Pity, really.

    • Is MPlayer even GPL? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This page [mplayerhq.hu] says that it is illegal to distribute MPlayer because some of the code is non-GPL. But they don't say which code they're referring to. The MPlayer source code doesn't (AFAIK) include a copy of the GPL, and apart from a copy of the above web page under Docs/, doesn't refer to licensing at all. There are no mentions of a license in the .c/.h files, except in the files taken from other projects (try "grep -ir licens *"). For all I know, it's illegal for me to distribute or use the MPlayer source code at all. Maybe MPlayer is the one stealing code from other GPL projects.

      Their explanation is extremely vague. I understand why you couldn't include the Windows DLL files, the Divx4 codec, etc. with a binary distribution. But why couldn't you compile it with the FFmpeg GPL codecs only, and distribute that as a binary if you make the source code available? The FFmpeg decoders seem better than the Windows DLL files anyway, and they can run on non-x86 platforms.

    • Just because the folks over at warpvision did not want to release alpha code, does not mean they intended to steal it. This issue has come up many times before with other GPL products, though I must say, the mplayer reaction was, to put it mildly, childish.

      I also find it very funny that the first thing the opensource project (mplayer) threatens to do is sue. They did not even bother to contact the waprvision folks first.

      Oh well, nothing changes. People like to overreact as it seems to make them feel better.

      -sirket
  • OS/2 (Score:1, Informative)

    by blkros (304521)
    Yes, the commuity radio station [weru.org] that I volunteer at uses it on one computer for their satellite downloads.
  • Holy (Score:1, Troll)

    I guess FSF (Free Software Foundation), ffmpeg authors, would eagerly sue them to fucking hell! Such an action against humanity can't go unpunished! They will die a dog's death for sure I swear! Lay back, we'll teach them that stealing from OpenSource is a BAD thing, and stealing from MPlayer is even WORSE!

    Take it easy, guys. Nobody needs to die a dog's death here. It'll all work out. Relax, smell the flowers. It's just software. Hey, what are you doing with that axe? aaaaaaaaggg
  • by pwagland (472537) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:45PM (#2604712) Journal
    This from the russians website:
    Linux-community dumbfound us by their answer to our "technical" release of WarpVision 0.0.12. WarpVision is a GPL software and we're not hide that WarpVision contains now some of other GPL projects. Okay, wait for official press-release for this situation.

    Who knows the truth? I don't, but if they did "borrow" the code, at least they 'fessed up pretty quick. Perhaps we should of asked first what was happening?

    • Companies that do obscure stuff probably pull crap like this all the time and just assume nobody is going to notice. After all, if they did tell anyone, Mplayer could just be suddenly declared 'free for noncommercial use' in future versions. Granted this isn't legal or right or anything, but it is probably a financially safer route to take in a lot of cases.
  • I have suffered way too many "Still using CLI?" for using Linux, haven't you? If someone want to *write* programs for OS/2, all the power to them. "Burrowing" source code is not so good, but that is cleared up now (read above posts!).
    • "I have suffered way too many "Still using CLI?" for using Linux, haven't you? If someone want to *write* programs for OS/2, all the power to them."

      Except that, unlike Linux, OS/2 is somewhat of a developmental dead-end. If a piece of current hardware doesn't work under Linux, I know I only have to wait a month or two. On the other hand, it must've been a year or two ago that I heard someone lament about his inability to get OS/2 drivers for a piece of IBM hardware.

      While there's nothing wrong with someone using OS/2, especially if it does what they need, it is surprising that people are still fighting the uphill battle of continuing to use a closed-source operating system in the absence of support from the original vendor. It's almost like taking the biggest gripe against Windows (lack of source) and the biggest gripe against Linux (lack of commercial support to the degree that it exists for Windows) and creating a single system with both problems. (I may be wrong on the second point, depending on how well OS/2 runs Win9x-based executables. I know it did run the Win3.x stuff.)

      That being said, if IBM were to dump OS/2 into the GPL, I would love to play with a project that attempted to get it running with support for more current hardware by snarfing drivers from, say, the Linux kernel. I've always wanted to try it, but I was foiled by driver issues back when I originally attempted to install it.

  • Im sure it is the otherway around I have heard bout Microsoft mettings where they talk about reverse engineering all the time. And if they can decompile and reverse engineer it they buy it.
  • Go to Mplayers Home Page [mplayerhq.hu], they used the entire code of Mplayer and only changed the output plugin.
  • Michael, computing has cultural implications and you're a jerk.
  • stolen? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vipw (228)
    how can a russian coder steal source code? he's using it in a way the author did not intend, but he's not under the same laws. in russia, code is not property, and unless it is property, it cannot be stolen.
    • I think it is a contract/license issue. I'm sure Russia has contract law. If you use the software you have agreed to the contract/license. Contracts put conditions on your actions that are not normally there under the law. So, unless it is legal to violate licenses/contracts in Russia they broke the law (maybe? perhaps? I really don't know but I don't think it is a property issue.).

  • No, it is not flattery, it is plagiarism.
  • Prudential (Score:3, Interesting)

    by christurkel (520220) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:52PM (#2604741) Homepage Journal
    My division of Prudential Insurance (Can't say where, sorry) uses OS/2 on all its desktops here, that's 3,000 machines. Nifty OS!
    • Up here in the great white north, all the teller machines at TD Canada Trust are OS/2. That makes for quite an installed user base as well.

  • " I have two reactions - one, someone still uses OS/2? And two, something about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery..."

    So basically, if I break in and steal Michael's computer, he won't want me prosecuted so long as I explain to him that I was flattering him by imitating him .... does this guy think at all before he posts his unecessary comments?

    • Believe it or not, there is this thing called "open source", based on the little-known fact that if you get information from someone, they still have it. Or at least I think some guys named Thomas Jefferson, Richard Stallman, and Eric Raymond were saying something about that. I think they, like, said something about how it's different from material things because you don't deprive the original owner of it when you "steal" it.

      Good analogy, otherwise. *cough*

      • Believe it or not, there is this thing called "open source", based on the little-known fact that if you get information from someone, they still have it. Or at least I think some guys named Thomas Jefferson, Richard Stallman, and Eric Raymond were saying something about that. I think they, like, said something about how it's different from material things because you don't deprive the original owner of it when you "steal" it.

        Good analogy, otherwise. *cough*


        Beleive it or not, there is something called 'intellectual property'. This has absolutely nothing to do with open source. If you don't believe me try grabbing a copy of the code for Windows XP, rebuilding it, packaging it as your own and selling it. I am sure Thomas Jefferson will rise from the dead to defend you from yourself when you do. *cough* *cough* *hack* holy shit ... JamieF is quite a bit of a furball, isn't he-she.
  • by beable (170564) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:55PM (#2604754) Homepage
    Check out the MPlayer homepage [mplayerhq.hu]. The 2001.11.06 entry says:
    On a press conference, A'rpi said the big truth: he hates GPL! Well this sounds very rude from him, but let everyone know what happened! The poor fella tried to compile a flash disk driver into the kernel to boot from it and... it wouldn't! The little geezer is non-GPL so he can't be compiled into the kernel, which is in fact GPL! Let me quote him: rts NOW! GPL SUX - Utalom!!! - kibaszott szemet! - which I now don't want to trto english. Now he has rm -rf /*GPL* in crontab.

    Order MPlayer - Boycott GPL! T-shirts NOW!
    Now I'm confused. Do these MPlayer likes like the GPL? Or do they hate it?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That whole story is confusing. Nothing prevents non-GPL code from being compiled into the kernel. It's also a vague problem description. Did the kernel not compile, not boot, or did the "poor fella" just refuse to compile non-GPL code?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mplayer is NOT released under the GPL!

      So, how can the OS/2 team we're talking about release their project under the GPL? It makes no sense! You cannot take someone's project, modify it and just because you had access to the source you can decide for yourself what you'll do of that code.

      aurey@linux.ca
      • "Anonymous Coward" wrote:
        Mplayer is NOT released under the GPL!
        If MPlayer is not released under the GPL, then that's probably a GPL violation. In my MPlayer build directory, there is a file called ac3-iec958.c which was released under the GPL by Juha Yrjölä. Because ac3-iec958 is built into MPlayer, by the "viral nature" of the GPL, surely the whole of MPlayer must be released under the GPL.
        • by beable (170564) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:47PM (#2604939) Homepage
          To follow up, there are HEAPS of files in MPlayer which were released under the GPL. I can't see how the MPlayer authors can possibly not release MPlayer under the GPL.

          Files which contain a GPL Licence statement in MPlayer:

          grep -rn "General Public License" *|cut -f 1 -d :|sort |uniq

          ac3-iec958.c
          drivers/3dfx.h
          libac3/ac3.h
          libac3/ac3_internal.h
          libac3/bit_allocate.c
          libac3/bit_allocate.h
          libac3/bitstream.c
          libac3/bitstream.h
          libac3/coeff.c
          libac3/coeff.h
          libac3/crc.c
          libac3/crc.h
          libac3/debug.c
          libac3/debug.h
          libac3/decode.c
          libac3/decode.h
          libac3/dither.c
          libac3/dither.h
          libac3/downmix/downmix_3dnow.S
          libac3/downmix/downmix.c
          libac3/downmix/downmix_kni.S
          libac3/downmix.h
          libac3/exponent.c
          libac3/exponent.h
          libac3/imdct.c
          libac3/imdct.h
          libac3/mmx/imdct_3dnow.c
          libac3/mmx/imdct512_kni.S
          libac3/mmx/imdct_kni.c
          libac3/mmx/rematrix_3dnow.c
          libac3/mmx/srfft_3dnow.c
          libac3/mmx/srfft_kni_c.c
          libac3/mmx/srfft_kni.S
          libac3/mmx/srfftp_3dnow.h
          libac3/parse.c
          libac3/parse.h
          libac3/rematrix.c
          libac3/rematrix.h
          libac3/sanity_check.c
          libac3/sanity_check.h
          libac3/srfft.c
          libac3/srfft.h
          libac3/srfftp.h
          libac3/stats.c
          libac3/stats.h
          libmpeg2/attributes.h
          libmpeg2/header.c
          libmpeg2/idct.c
          libmpeg2/idct_mlib.c
          libmpeg2/idct_mmx.c
          libmpeg2/mm_accel.h
          libmpeg2/mmx.h
          libmpeg2/motion_comp.c
          libmpeg2/motion_comp_mlib.c
          libmpeg2/motion_comp_mmx.c
          libmpeg2/mpeg2.h
          libmpeg2/mpeg2_internal.h
          libmpeg2/slice.c
          libmpeg2/sse.h
          libmpeg2/stats.c
          libmpeg2/vlc.h
          libvo/video_out.c
          libvo/video_out_internal.h
          libvo/vo_3dfx.c
          libvo/vo_mga.c
          libvo/vo_null.c
          libvo/vo_sdl.c
          libvo/vo_syncfb.c
          libvo/vo_xmga.c
          libvo/yuv2rgb.c
          libvo/yuv2rgb.h
          libvo/yuv2rgb_mlib.c
          libvo/yuv2rgb_mmx.c
          opendivx/idct_c.c
          opendivx/idct_mmx.c
          TOOLS/mp.pl
          TVout/fbset/modeline2fb

          Please explain?
          • I looked at the licensing discussion on the mplayer web site. It really is GPL, as far as I can tell.

            There are some files in the distribution which are not GPL, however.

            Implication: You can redistribute the sources, but you cannot redistribute the binaries that use the non-GPL'd pieces. If you make a binary that uses only the GPL'd pieces, then you can redistribute that.

            All of this is allowed by the GPL.
        • Well, you dont have to release under the GPL itself if you link against GPL software. You do however have to release under the GPL or some license that is more 'free' than the GPL.

          For example, it is prefectly acceptable to mix and match (revised) BSD licensed code with GPL code and distribute that. The GPL parts are under GPL, the BSD parts are under BSD license. But you cannot throw proprietary code (or proprietarize the BSD code) into it without first removing the GPL code.

          The viral aspect of the GPL is sortof misunderstood. It doesnt affect any other code, it just affects wether or not you can distribute the original GPL code, and you can do that as long as the other licenses in the distributed source arent in conflict with the GPL granted freedoms.

          Not that I have read through the MPlayer license so I dont know if it conflicts with any GPL clauses.
      • How can the OS/2 team we're talking about release their project under the GPL? It makes no sense! You cannot take someone's project, modify it and just because you had access to the source you can decide for yourself what you'll do of that code.
        I thought about it some more (owww my brane hurts!) and I hope this will be my final position on this subject:
        1. MPlayer authors claim that their project is not released under the GPL
        2. Their project includes a file (ac3-iec958.c) which was released under the GPL, therefore they should have released MPlayer under the GPL
        3. Their project also includes the source code to several GPLd libraries (libac3, libmpeg2, libvo) and some other GPLd code as well
        4. These GPLd libraries are not only not LGPLd, they are also statically linked, which greatly weakens the "they are only libraries" argument
        5. They really should have released MPlayer under the GPL
        6. Warpvision still had no right to use MPlayer's code without permission, even if Warpvision released their modified code under the GPL
        So there we go! Everybody's wrong!
      • Looking at the mplayer web site, it appears that mplayer *is* released under GPL.

        There are a few files that are not GPL'd in the mplayer software, however. To compile and use mplayer you need the non-GPL'd stuff linked in. But you can do anything you want with the GPL'd stuff.

        My reading of the GPL is that this is allowed.
  • freaky (Score:2, Funny)

    by ckuhtz (87644)
    What do you mean not freak out?

    Isn't that the ./-way?

    Buurrrap. Oops, must've been the turkey.

  • Firstar [firstar.com] bank uses OS/2 in their ATM's for some ungodly reason. A friend of mine recently lost their old revision card in a machine - it rebooted when they tried to withdraw, and watched in horror as it went through an OS/2 bootup sequence.
    • I saw this myself once, during a thunderstorm. Makes me wish I had a camcorder with me, who knows what interesting tidbits I might have learned.
    • For shame!

      OS/2 was one of MS's biggest competitors back in the early-mid 90's. Yes, there actually were competing commercial operating systems to MS offerings once!

      IBM dumped a ton of money into convincing users that OS/2 was good for the home, and better than the Windows 3.11 (and later Win95) alternative. They eventually gave up a short while after Windows 95 was released. Apparently people who said OS/2 sucks for having a 20MB disk install and a 16MB memory requirement were more than happy to supply the bucks to update their hardware for Win95.

      Too many people apparently forgot the big OS/2 vs. Win 95/Windows NT battle and all the dirty tricks and FUD that was spread. One classic example was a Ziff-Davis publication's "10 best-selling software products list" being put on hiatus when OS/2 Warp 3.0 landed in the #1 position for several weeks, beating out MS's offerings, only to return after OS/2 dropped off the chart.

      OS/2 is a casualty of MS's monopolistic practices, and should be at least championed as a fallen hero in the MS monopoly battles rather than beat upon because it is an IBM (and ex-MS) product.

      Robert Worne (Former Team OS/2 member)
    • Most banks use OS/2 on their ATM's these days. I know Diebold is one ATM manufacturer that uses OS/2 on their ATM's.

      One of the biggest reasons OS/2 is still around is that it is used in half the ATM's across the country.
  • Hmmm...too bad there's no way to rate an article as a troll or flamebait. (Ah, well; if it makes you feel better...)

    In any case, I would hope the matter is settled, and a proper port of mplayer done.

  • WarpVision...hrm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimmyphysics (16981) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:03PM (#2604789)
    so yeah, it looks like they *did* steal some source code from mplayer. "but now they've released source, its ok," you say. no it isn't. apparently, they now claim that warpvision is/was GPL software. well, mplayer is released under a couple of licenses... its not all GPL, so that does not allow redistribution completely under GPL for derived works. (does that make sense to antybody else?) hmmm...

    i do have to say, however, that i'm a bit disappointed in Arpad's rather immature reaction.
    Arpad! you listening? rabit, knee-jerk reactions like this make us look bad. i have a lot of respect for you as a programmer, but your reaction is way out of line.
    "They will die a dog's death for sure I swear!" its SOFTWARE, for god's sake. lighten up.
  • GPL issues (Score:4, Informative)

    by peter_gzowski (465076) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:05PM (#2604801) Homepage
    The update to this story mentions that everything's ok because the WarpVision code has the GPL, but the Mplayer author contends that Mplayer is not GPL, hence the following quote from the Mplayer homepage:

    They also claim to be GPL. They aren't because MPlayer that they modified, also isn't GPL. It has its own license. So that's another lie.
    • On the MPlayer News [mplayerhq.hu] page, it is also claimed that WarpVision forgot to mention the authors of ffmpeg [sourceforge.net] in their credits file. The strange thing is, ffmpeg is released under the GPL, and is also used by MPlayer -- then, I wonder, how can MPlayer not be released under the GPL?

      Now who's in violation of the GPL here?

    • Re:GPL issues (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vox (32161)
      Actually, they say their code is GPL, but some stuff they include (codecs and other things, I'd guess...haven't checked the whole thing) are not under GPL...that's why they get pissed off whenever somebody posts binaries of MPlayer...according to them, some of the code can't be legally distributed as binaries...that's why they say the code is basically GPL (and not Basically GPL as in a name of a license, but as in "mostly GPL").

      ./ story needs yet another clarification.

      Vox
  • Not Resolved Yet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Check the Mplayer web site. (they have an update in response to the source release) This is not resolved yet.

    One of the big issues appears to be that Warpvision is GPL, but Mplayer is NOT GPL. It has its own, different license. Just taking the code and changing the license to one you like better (even if it is the GPL) is not acceptable, no matter how much credit you give people.
  • OS/2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by easter1916 (452058) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:16PM (#2604837) Homepage
    OS/2 is still widely used in banking, as the underlying OS for ATM machines and elsewhere whenever uptime and reliability are of utmost importance. Personally, I haven't used it in five years, just thought I'd let you know.
  • We(being the psuedo-gov organisation i support) just migrated 4500 users from an OS2 Domian to NT4. The OS2 boxes and domain are still "on line", although not used for authentication for the last week but smply in case we need to back out :P It was ugly and hard to use..
    • Ugly? You must have missed some of the goodies available at, for instance, http://projects.netlabs.org/ .

      Hard to use? Years of usability research went into the creation of the Workplace Shell, which shows in the consistent and predictable way it works- which cannot be said of certain desktop environments for unix/linux. (Which is why I've joined the GNOME usability project, by the way).
  • OS/2 (Score:2, Informative)

    by NiN3x (180376)
    Micheal, I would suggest you try to learn a few things about OS/2 before you assume that it is dead.

    Many banks all around the world use OS/2 for their ATMs and office computers because of one reason, it is even more rocksolid than your precious Linux/Unix.

    The last released version of OS/2, Warp Ver 4 (merlin) was amazing. In 1991 it had and impresive list of features such as: Voice recognition software that was 98%+ accurate;
    OpenGL 1.0; every network protocol nameable, Partial Win32 API compatibility and full Win16 compatibility.

    As Slashdoters, you should support OS/2 and learn about it. It was most likely one of the most powerful and stable operating systems in existence, and probably still is. It had great potential to become THE operating system. If it wasn't for Microsoft boycoting/strong arming IBM out of development of OS/2. I would suggest you read "Hard Drive" which is a biography of Bill Gates and Microsoft. (It is written by an author with the last name Wallace. I can't remeber his first name). It explains the situation very well.

    I am quite shocked that you sheepish Slashdotters would not like OS/2. You should just because of the fact that Microsoft took it down. Obviously you are not a knowledgable herd of sheep. (You can run Xfree86 in OS/2!!!! WOWZERS!)

    In truth I use Windows XP. I would use 0S/2 if it wasn't so hard to install and if it had a greater list of features. OS/2 does have alot of problems to overcome in the modern day, and probably isn't the best operating system to use on a daily bassis for regular computer usage. (sounds like linux to me.) It could have been, and still could be though.
    • by NiN3x (180376)
      I appoligize. Merlin was released in 1996. Still an amazing list of features for that time.
    • Just so you know why OS/2 is on all those ATM machines you see out there, it's because those are 'IBM' machines made by IBM, installed by IBM and serviced by IBM, and it was IBM who put OS/2 in them. Since you're dealing with the banks, i.e if it ain't broke don't fix it, OS/2 lives happily on those machines.

      And no, I'm ain't no sheep.

      Blah~
    • The latest version of OS/2 is not Warp 4, it is the IBM Convenience Pack, which was released this year. It is effectively Warp 5, although technically it's just Warp 4 with all the latest fixes and updates pre-applied. However, there is also a VAR version of the CP, and that's called eComStation.

      BTW, eCS is much easier to install now. You might want to give it a shot.

      But I agree, Slashdotters should have much more respect for OS/2.

    • I suggest another book to read. It is "The Microsoft File" by Wendy Goldman Rohm, Wired author.
      Here is a link for it (Amazon boycott still runs?)

      http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnIn qu iry.asp?userid=69MGSQEXJK&mscssid=C32W2UB51W259LAN VVMF0U0XBR39BXS3&isbn=0812927168
  • Well then (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxxon (124407)
    Maybe you should get both sides of the story before posting it to Slashdot in the first place?
  • This reminds me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zmooc (33175)
    A few weeks ago there was something about a company reselling parts of products of another company. The EULA said this was not allowed, but when taken to court it was said that in order to take parts from a bundle of software, you don't have to install it and therefore you may not have read the license and most certainly not have clicked `i agree'. Actually this situation resembles the MPlayer-situation a bit. It's waaay to easy to install MPlayer without ever reading about some license. Most source-files are totally license-less. I wonder what would have happened if this particular case would have been taken to court...but I'm glad that wasn't necessary.
  • OS/2 is used... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blitzrage (185758) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:30PM (#2604886) Homepage
    I remember seeing a Meridian phone system (the hub that all the phone lines go into) and it was running OS/2! I was really surprised and my first thought was, "That's fuckin' cool!"

    You just plugged a keyboard and mouse into the inside of it, and if you had the right boot disk, you could load up the software and change stuff. OS/2 was the heart of the phone system.

    I just thought it was really cool that you could change mailboxes and stuff without using a phone, but a real keyboard.
    • Some of OS/2's strength shows in the fact that in the mid 90's Sprint Corporate HQ ran two phone lines only for all incoming and outgoing faxes. Handling and routing was done via an OS/2 box using a Brooktrout card. I've seen a lot of "cool" applications of multi-tasking using OS/2, but many less these days. I was a "Salmon Ninja" for a while, before Warp 4 and a lack of native software in my industry made me pay Redmond for it's sewage. Oh, well, OS/2 isn't the only product that starved in development because of the competition and superior marketing. Think Beta video tape, for one.
    • Yup. Our ACD system (call centre queues and the like, ACD standing for Automated Call Distribution) was a single board Pentium 133 w/32 megs RAM running OS/2. You booted it up, watched it load a bunch of DOS drivers, boot to the OS/2 desktop, then autorun the phone app.
  • Um...?? (Score:3, Flamebait)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:36PM (#2604905) Homepage
    so in the end this might just be proprietary software piracy. (Yawn)
    So if someone steals GPL code, it's a horrendous crime worthy of getting everyone involved and posting to slashdot...but if it's proprietary code that's stolen, no one cares?

    How does that work?
    • So if someone steals GPL code, it's a horrendous crime worthy of getting everyone involved and posting to slashdot...but if it's proprietary code that's stolen, no one cares?

      The difference is they didn't steal from "us" (the Open Source community), so it wouldn't be Slashdot news. It'd get kind of boring here if SD should post every time somebody sells an unlicensed copy of Windows.
    • If there is a plane crash and hundreds die it makes the front page. Thousands of car accidents where a few (or zero) people die in each one. Yawn.

      The common activities (such as auto accidents and proprietary software piracy) are not news after the Nth occurance (where N is a sufficiently great number, as related to the event in question). Sufficently rare activities (such as the "theft" of GPL code, or plane crashes) happen infrequently enough that the general public (or the /. crowd) find it interesting. That's how it works.
  • I think we need a Spelling Nazi "to update thier site. I'd"
  • Not OSI approved? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by ByTor-2112 (313205)
    NOT OSI APPROVED? SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

    I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW SICK I AM OF PEOPLE ARGUING OVER THESE STUPID SIMPLE SEMANTICS.

    If I have the source code it is OPEN SOURCE. I don't care what 12 white men living under a rockthink about the license!

    AAAAAARRRRGHG!!!!

    I feel better.
  • by gagravarr (148765) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:56PM (#2604973) Homepage

    Alas the WarpVision mailing list isn't archived anywhere that I know of, but I'll do my best to sumarise:

    Someone noticed that WarpVision had changed a lot between two versions, doing some things better but some no longer. Someone else then noticed that the debug output was much like that of MPlayer

    At that point, the MPlayer guys were alearted, and decided that it was very likely that WarpVision was an uncredited port of MPlater to OS/2, and also a closed source one. They mailed the WarpVision Developers, and asked what was up.

    The WarpVision guys initially played dum, then said they had only used a tiny bit of code and would release the source later.

    Tempers flared, and a lot of discussion went on between the WarpVision guys and the MPlayer guys. In the end, the WarpVision developers credited MPlayer, and released the source.

    Now, the flame is over who was in the wrong, who needs to apologise, and if the projects should remain seperate, or if the WarpVision changes should go into the offical MPlayer tree. The issue isn't resolved, but the GPL violation is

  • When a submission contains such an obvious troll, it should come with a premade put-your-flame-here post where all the trollees can put their "I run WarpVision on my ATM" replies.

  • Heh. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You all forgot two things :
    1. It is me that is writing the news, not A'rpi,
    so blame me :)
    2. MPlayer is NOT GPL. And that's one of the
    reason why binaries (whether MPlayer or warpvision) are illegal. GPL and non-GPL
    can't be mixed in binaries, but can be in the
    source.
    (btw it's in TFM)

    --
    Gabucino of MPlayer team
  • The Bank of Brazil http://www.bb.com.br, the greatest bank of brazil, use OS/2 in all yours cache machines.
  • The few times I've seen an ATM (banking station, not network pipe) crash, it was running OS/2. I can't say why, not having used it, but it seems to be pretty reliable in its role doing bank transactions & verification all day.
  • A software project, which uses codecs from another operative system and binary code from lots of different companies, not to talk about the DivX codecs which is hacked microsoft codecs (yes, there are alternatives nowadays) are angry at someone else for using THEIR fake-GPL code. Yeah, that's not two-faced. Really.
  • by /dev/trash (182850)
    What you are saying is that it's okay to steal closed source code but not GPL'ed code?

  • In summary. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jason Pollock (45537) on Friday November 23, 2001 @08:00PM (#2605308) Homepage
    MPlayer:
    1) contains GPL'ed code.
    2) Says they have a license that doesn't allow binary distribution. At no point is that license documented anywhere, nor is it listed on which files it applies to.
    3) MPlayer has beefs with _anyone_ distributing binary packages, including distributions, such as Mandrake and Debian. No wonder I didn't know they existed.

    Primarily it seems that their beef is with having to support other people's compiles. Of course, they are perfectly allowed to selectively apply support, and to even put restrictions on re-distribution of the code that they wrote. Of course, that does mean that they will need to specifically _list_ the restricted code, which they haven't done.

    Personally, I think MPlayer is just bitching because they are getting newbie questions on the mailing list. I think they've got a crap architecture (since it requires compile-time selection of platform). I also think that it would be very nice for someone to take the code, replace the non-GPL bits, and allow people to get on with their lives.

    Jason Pollock
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2001 @08:10PM (#2605334)
    From the MPlayer home page, it seems the MPlayer authors are mostly concerned about WarpVision stealing credit. They make a good case for that having happened.

    Their claims about license violations seems confused at best. They claim MPlayer is released under its own license, but I found no such license in the source code for MPlayer 0.5. The closest I found is the following quote in the documentation:

    MPlayer would be distributable under the terms of the
    GNU GPL, but distributing binary packages is forbidden

    Of course, the GPL forbids imposing such conditions on redistribution, so one must interpret this as saying that MPlayer is not distributable under the GPL, and since there is no other license supplied, must one understand MPlayer is not distributable at all?

    Additionally, MPlayer uses code that is under the GPL, notably the MGA video drivers and some of the monitor frequency synchronization drivers. Thus either MPlayer is GPL or MPlayer violates the GPL or copyright laws.

    Given MPlayer's licensing confusion, I'm not surprised WarpVision treated it as GPL. IMHO, that's the most reasonable interpretation that can be made of the situation. Regardless of licensing, of course, WarpVision should have more accurately and prominently advertised the debt it owed to MPlayer.

    By the way, the vitriolic and childish attitude of the MPlayer author on this issue is yet another reminder of why it's a good idea to only use and contribute to really free software (which MPlayer apparently isn't)... I would hate to subject my use of a piece of software to the whims of such an apparently confused and aggressive person. And of course, I would hate to have such a person use code I wrote to impose their whims on others, which is why I use the GPL :-).
  • The docs say I have to setup a skins dir in /usr/local/share... But they don't say anything about the skin configfile... What is he format of this file, and where does it go?

    Output of gmplayer(homedir censored to protect the anonymous):

    MPlayer CVS-011123-18:04(C) 2000-2001 Arpad Gereoffy (see DOCS!)

    CPU vendor name: GenuineIntel max cpuid level: 2
    CPU: Intel Celeron 2/Pentium III Coppermine,Geyserville
    Testing OS support for SSE... yes.
    Testing OS support for SSE unmasked exceptions... yes.
    Tests of OS support for SSE passed.
    CPUflags: Type: 6 MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNow2: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 0
    vo: X11 running at 800x600 with depth 16 and 16 bits/pixel (":0.0" => local display)
    Reading /home/*******/.mplayer/codecs.conf: can't open '/home/*******/.mplayer/codecs.conf': No such file or directory
    Reading /usr/local/share/mplayer/codecs.conf: 21 audio & 58 video codecs
    font: can't open file: /home/*******/.mplayer/font/font.desc
    font: can't open file: /usr/local/share/mplayer/font/font.desc
    SKIN dir 1: '/home/*******/.mplayer/Skin'
    SKIN dir 2: '/usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin'
    [app] skin configfile not found.
  • If the borrowed from the iTunes installer (if it were open source, that is) they could have said "see, if formats hard drives just like our installer does".

    Case closed.

    oh, and from the mplayerhq website:
    MPlayer stolen by russian OS/2 users !

    Don't think of it as stealing think of it as "adding your distinctiveness to our own".
  • (it calls itself Basically GPL, which, BTW, hasn't been approved by the OSI)

    Huh? Is this saying that GPL is not approved by the OSI?

    Then why is it at the top of this [opensource.org] list?

  • I want scandal damn it!

    OS/2... hand wave... GPL violation... OS/2...

    Si
  • The mplayer developers have HUGE social problems.

    They are probably the most arrogant people I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. Not even the infamous djb (qmail) or tdr (openbsd) is anywhere as arrogant and insulting as this group of developers. I was really suprised, I didnt think anyone could top djb.

    Just read their mailing list -- they attach headers to all mails relayed through the list telling everyone to "RTFM", and take great pleasure in treating everyone as idiots, even more pleasure in insulting them.

    And the mplayer config script has a huge wild-eyed rant about redhat, if you dare to compile it with gcc 2.96 (even one known and proven to work perfectly fine, eg 2.96-85)

    Oddly enough, I have experienced almost identical attitude from other hungarians. What IS it about that freaking country that makes everyone a flaming asshole?

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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