Bonum Certa Men Certa

Cautionary Tale About Software Patents and Their Impact on GNU/Linux Distros in Europe

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Feb 12, 2024

Map of europe silhouette black isolated on white background

THIS coming week and perhaps this coming month we'll be routinely covering European software patents because of EPO leaks. The EPO has been run for many years by clueless and corrupt officials, notably Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, who have zero background in science and who see patents as nothing but an opportunity to make some money (in effect, by selling monopolies to companies, mostly non-European companies looking to sue or blackmail European companies and people).

3 years ago we learned that GNU/Linux developers in Europe were among the recipients of threats and blackmail, caused solely because of software patents. The issue in general remains unsolved, but there are workarounds. They're time consuming but necessary.

5 days ago one such developer said that he had found a workaround:

With recent developments, it is now possible for Vero V to perform on the fly tonemapping of the IPT colour space in to HDR10 as well as SDR.

ICtCp is a colour space implementation for HDR. It is also known as Dolby Vision Profile 5. This profile is used by a number of streaming services and does not have an HDR fallback layer. As a result, playing such content on a device which cannot handle this colour space correctly results in magenta and green colours. The content is effectively unwatchable.

Vero V is now able to tonemap this content and output it in a compatible HDR format. One advantage of this is that a user does not need a Dolby Vision compliant sink (AVR, TV), to be able to watch Dolby Vision Profile 5 content.

Another is that a user does not need to store content with a ‘fallback’ HDR layer, as Vero can calculate the appropriate transformations on the fly. This reduces the filesize of the media and improves compatibility. With all of the tonemapping improvements we’ve released over the years, the goal is to allow Vero to play and provide the best possible output regardless of the display. This is yet another step in this direction.

This is still experimental and feedback is wanted and needed. I’ve added some instructions on how to test here: [TESTING] Vero V: IPT colour space conversion - #39 by sam_nazarko


There is a background story to it. It's about patents on software. "Took me two years," he told us, "but I fully reverse engineered DV. They claim hardware is needed for it to be implemented, but this is not the case..."

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