[mythtv] MythTV Licensing Question

Robert Johnston anaerin at gmail.com
Fri May 20 03:42:25 UTC 2011

On 19/05/2011 9:02 PM, Joseph Irvine wrote:
> Hello,
> I am working on a commercial project. We have done some prototyping with
> MythTV for use in a potential DVR set-top box production.
> I wondered if there is a commercial license available for MythTV? We
> can't really use the GNU GPL license. We license code from 3rd parties
> that we can't redistribute or release as open source. Some of our own
> technologies are covered under patent and preclude sharing code.
> One example, for instance, is managing the HDCP code and associated
> license keys that would be required to be kept confidential to ensure
> the protection of their technology.
> The long and short is that we are almost certainly going to need to seek
> another platform. However, we have been pleased with MythTV and, as a
> result, would be willing to pay for its usage. Are there any
> possibilities for licensing from the original owner?
> I have heard there are ways to get around this by stashing code in DLLs
> and other modules removed from the original code. If we could encase our
> proprietary code, and licensed code, such as HDCP, in libraries, would
> that be a possibility to avoid releasing the sensitive portions of our
> project?

I think the short answer is "It depends". If your code does not link 
directly with GPL'd code, you don't have to include source.

So, for instance, if your HDCP code is part of the graphics driver, and 
not part of Myth, it doesn't have to be disclosed. There may also be a 
"linking exception" in play with the GPL license used with Myth, but I 
can't find a copy of the GPL license text in the Myth code repository 
(Or on the website - Both just say that Myth is "GPL-Licensed" and 
nothing more). I think your best bet would be to find and contact a 
lawyer that specialises in contract and licensing law.

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