[mythtv] MythTV Licensing Question

Daniel Kristjansson danielk at cuymedia.net
Fri May 20 12:49:08 UTC 2011

On Thu, 2011-05-19 at 22:02 -0500, Joseph Irvine wrote:
> 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?

MythTV as a whole is licensed under GPL version 2. This is unlikely to
change. If it were it would most be to change to GPL version 3 or a
later version.

> 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?

IANAL but if the resulting work could be considered a derivative of
MythTV (i.e. it's still a DVR) I don't think any level of indirection
would provide legal cover. I recommend that you study MythTV but
in the end write your own PVR software. This will also allow you
to avoid some of the design mistakes we made that have been difficult
to back out of. Many base libraries we use, like ffmpeg, are available
under either an LGPL license or another license that allows integration
with proprietary code.

We made the conscious decision to license MythTV under the GPL, one
of the reasons was so our work on the project could not be used for
proprietary software that would compete with an employers' software
or with MythTV itself for that matter.

-- Daniel

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