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05 June 2010, 06:29

WebM project changes to standard open source licence

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Google's WebM project has changed the licence on the royalty-free codec web video from the previous custom licence to a standard open source licence. The original custom licence had lead some to call the codec "not currently open source" as it had not been approved by the OSI and there were issues with the combined copyright and patent grant within the licence.

Chris DiBona, Google's Open Source Programs Manager, announced the change in the license explaining the changes that have been made. The patent grant part of the licence has been separated from the copyright licence with modifications to make it GPL compatible, says DiBona. By removing that part of the custom licence, what is left is a "three clause" BSD licence which is an OSI approved form of open source licence. Simon Phipps, the OSI board member who pointed out the original problem, was "pleased to say that project is now fully open source" in his blog where he congratulated Google on the "timely and welcome" correction of its "licencing and community-relations error".

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