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XVID asks Sigma to stop copyright breach

Update Calls for Free Software community help
Thu Aug 22 2002, 20:48
Update 23 August 09:05 BST Sigma appears to have responded now. The firm said in a release late yesterday that it will release the source code for its MPEG-4 video Codec, sarting today, from its web site at An executive said: "We are pleased to provide the development community with an open source MPEG-4 CODEC."

OPEN SOURCE staff at XVID, an MPEG-4 video research project, have asked Sigma Designs to stop distributing the Real Magic MPEG-4 Video Codec.

XVID claims that the Codec is an illegal copy of its own software and has asked Sigma to stop breaching its software licence and copyrights.

According to XVID, the Sigma Codec has large portions of XVIDcodec software inside.

It says that as Sigma is not offering a source code distribution and because it claims sole authorship, it is breaching the GNU General Public Licence too.

XVID said it learned of the violation in early July but Sigma released version 1.1 of its Real Magic software on the 9th of August.

It claims that after it examined the code it also contained its software, and has now made it public because Sigma Designs has had two months to concede to its demands.

Michael Militzer, in a statement, said: "This is an unfortunate event, not only for us but for the whole Free Software movement.... we hope to receive wide support from the Free Software community in our efforts to convince Sigma Designs to respect the terms of the GPL."

XVID has placed evidence which it says supports its claims here, and here.

Sigma was not available for comment at press time. µ


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