Re: quickcam: "Free VIDEC access campaign", Step 1

On Mon, 9 Jun 1997, Patrick wrote:

> Hanno,
>   It's a good cause, and good luck with it.  You have my full support, 
> and you'll have my signature as a user and as a developer.  

  The same with me.

> Some 
> thoughts/suggestions:
> > - third party developers must sign a non-disclosure agreement to get
> > information about the VIDEC algorithm from Connectix.
> Check the wording carefully on whatever NDA they want you/us to sign.  
> Someday I may want to write my own graphics and/or compression 
> algorithms; I don't want to sign away my rights to -that-.

  This is not NDA, it's non-competition agreement that emplayees sign (and
which is invalid and illegal in most of cases).

> > - all other applications require a LICENSE that a third party developer has to
> > PAY for (e. g. using the algorithm without the quickcam: to decompress VIDEC
> > data stored in files or as part of imaging software).
> I don't know that Connectix would care about this.  They distribute a 
> freeware player for extrating VIDEC-CODEC from AVI files, don't they?
> If we scratch this part of the proposed contract, we can do something 
> like what Bart suggested: write a shared library (ported to each 
> platform) and "hook" into it from the cqcam/qcam/qcread/etc...  Problem 
> there is, that library could easily be used for file (i.e., non-camera) 
> sources.

  I think, Connectix doesn't care at all about the availability of the
decompression library -- they already distribute it for Mac and Windows
what they mistakenly think is the whole world.
> I think Connectix would be far more concerned about people freely 
> distributing a compressor CODEC.

  Software compressor of that quality will be absolutely worthless.
From what I have seen it's barely tolerable in its hardware form.
Connectix care about: 1. keeping patent, 2. not to overwork.

> > - registered developers MAY NOT distribute source code containing the VIDEC
> > algorithm.
> Ow.  Fine, fine, we'll have to agree to that.
> > - registered developers will have access to the COMPLETE source code of the
> > quickcam drivers for windows and macinthos computers.
> (your English is fine, but check your ^^^ typing.)
> Dream on.  :)  They have posted sample (probably not used in QuickPict) 
> code for the protocol.  I have a feeling that we're better off asking 
> just for similar sample code demonstrating the decompressor.  They won't 
> give us the whole thing.

  That umm... "sample" is the worst implementation of their protocol
possible, hardware documentation is much better.

> ... not that we need it, right?  I wrote cqcam before I realized they'd 
> posted sample C code to do similar things.
> > file, with the VIDEC part as a pre-compiled object file.
> With care taken to make sure that it can't be used on static files, if 
> that turns out to be important.

  It will be fine to have it in object files, and I even heard from
them that "probably in the second quarter of 97" such library will be
released "probably at least for linux". I don't think, linux-only
library will be ebough, and they definitely can compile library other
platforms, where there are no problems compiling such code, but with
linux binaries at least Linux and FreeBSD will be able to use that
compression. I've already asked Connectix, if they need any help with
that, but it looks like non-developers are completely clueless about
anything technical there, so silence was the answer. I even live in San
Mateo, few miles from them, dammit!