ST-Ericsson glues gstreamer into Android – and makes it proprietary

It is always surprising what kind of things the industry is coming up with 😉

Here at ELCE, ST-Ericsson has just presented how they replaced OpenCore
with gstreamer as the supplier/provider of multimedia encoding/decoding
to the Android software stack.

This is definitely an interesting technical solution – probably one that makes
sense if you have existing gstreamer modules/drivers.

What really makes me wonder though, is their licensing. To make sure only
ST-Ericsson customers can use it, they have implemented a glue layer library
that ties into android, and this library is binary-only licensed and
distributed under terms that permit to use it together with their hardware.

Isn’t it stange? Now the Android software stack is Free Software, and
gstreamer is Free Software. But ST-Ericsson needs to put some proprietary blob
in the middle. Of course, legally they are allowed to do it: Android is
Apache-style licensed and gstreamer is LGPL. But from a
moral/ethical/technical point of view, it still is blasphemy to me.

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