CoreAVC for Linux downed

May 6, 2008 // 9:53 a.m.

Tags: #coreavc #coreavc-for-linux #corecodec #dmca #google #google-code

If you're a Linux fan and a video buff, the chances are you've used the CoreAVC H.264 DirectShow filter created for Windows under Linux using the CoreAVC for Linux package. A DMCA notice from the original developers looked set to put a halt to that, but it might not all be bad news.

According to a posting to Slashdot by user rippe77, Google has taken down the home page for the project, citing a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

While projects are often removed from Google Code for breach of copyright, what makes this case interesting is that the CoreAVC for Linux project doesn't actually contain any code from the copyright holders, CoreCodec. Rather, the project contained a bunch of open-source wholly original wrappers designed to get the Windows-only DirectShow filter developed by CoreCodec to work properly under Linux.

Although the DMCA notice provided to Google makes it sound as though the project was redistributing CoreAVC illegally, it would appear that the problem was due to the founder of the project reverse-engineering certain aspects of the filter in order to write his compatibility layer.

At the time of writing, the project page is still down – but possibly not for much longer. A posting on the CoreCodec forums regarding the takedown has resulted in an employee of CoreCodec revealing that the company has talked to Alan, the creator of the Linux software, and the company is helping him to “address what was brought to our attention so we can get Google to restore the project.” The employee, named only as 'BetaBoy', goes on to confirm that a retraction of the DCMA takedown notice has been provided to Google, so it shouldn't be long until the page returns.

It might be that the project has reached the end of its life, however: CoreCodec are, again according to 'BetaBoy', in the process of finishing a Gstreamer plugin and a version of their CorePlayer package specifically designed for Linux, with no compatibility hacks required. Whether this is due to the success of the CoreAVC for Linux project – indeed, whether the upcoming launch was the reason for the takedown – is unknown, but it does show that companies like CoreCodec are beginning to realise that there's money to be made in the open-source hills of Linux.

Do you think CoreCodec were heavy-handed in issuing the takedown notice, or are you just glad they seem to have sorted this out with the project maintainer? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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