[linux-audio-dev] M$/SuSE/ALSA ?

Takashi Iwai tiwai at suse.de
Thu Nov 16 17:31:58 UTC 2006

At Fri, 10 Nov 2006 09:21:24 -0500,
Dave Phillips wrote:
> Greetings:
> As many of you already know, SuSE has entered into an interesting 5-year 
> plan with Microsoft. You can find the details on Slashdot and 
> elsewheres, so I won't rehash them here.
> What isn't mentioned is the ALSA/SuSE connection. I'm pretty sure some 
> of the ALSA developers read these lists, and I'd like to hear from them 
> regarding the significance of their employer's new connections and 
> ALSA's IP and its continued development.

Well, my understanding is that the agreement doesn't change any
situation.  Novell argues that the whole packages _are_ patent-free
and _will be_ in future, too.

It means that we have no support for patent-protected WMV playback on
Linux natively, and won't have a support in future, too, unless
Microsoft explicitly licenses it.
The agreement is not about allowing the patent for use.  It's a kind
of cold-war agreement, an assurace for world piece -- in theory :)
The strange part is some exclusion meintioned in the agreement, and
that confuses and angers people.  I'm not sure how this deal
influences in practice.  But, the original idea isn't so spiteful as
rumored everywhere...  I hope.

About the development in future:  At least, I don't see any
significant changes in the development inside Novell/SUSE.  So is ALSA
development, too.  It's going on as it is now.  We just need to keep
our eyes more cafefully on the move of MS...


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