[Mesa-dev] Naked DXTn support via ARB_texture_compression?

Petr Sebor petr at scssoft.com
Sun Mar 20 05:58:14 PDT 2011

On 20.3.2011 12:50, Joakim Sindholt wrote:
> I'd just like to point out that the nvidia-texture-tools FAQ has this to
> say:
> Can I use the NVIDIA Texture Tools in the US? Do I have to obtain a
> license of the S3TC patent (US patent 5,956,431)?
> NVIDIA has a license of the S3TC patent that covers all our products,
> including our Texture Tools. You don't have to obtain a license of the
> S3TC patent to use any of NVIDIA's products, but certain uses of NVIDIA
> Texture Tools source code cannot be considered NVIDIA products anymore.
> Keep in mind that the NVIDIA Texture Tools are licensed under the MIT
> license and thus are provided without warranty of any kind.
> This (to me) indicates that nVIDIA has licensed it for their products,
> hardware AND software, and their products only.


as per the FAQ:

You don't have to obtain a license of the
S3TC patent to use any of NVIDIA's products...

So I really doubt that if you want to use s3tc compressed image in their 
card which got the license, you have to explicitly
have it permitted by S3, whether you do it from linux or windows. 
Texture tools are mentioned in the FAQ because they actually
implement the compression algorithm and it makes sense, that any non 
nVidia derived work might become non covered.

The patent relates to the compression/decompression algorithms - this is 
really what makes sense
and what is covered by the US patent 5956431.

As an analogy, think of MP3's. Do you think Fraunhoffer Institute is 
going to sue linux, because you have
committed the crime of copying your song to an MP3 portable, whose 
manufacturer didn't licensed
the linux as a platform that might upload the songs in such format? The 
players/encoder that were
doing the compression/decompression were a problem, because they were 
actually implementing
the patented stuff.

This is crazy.

I think this is a dead end since there is no chance of ever getting out 
of this FUD spiral.


Petr Sebor / SCS Software [ http://www.scssoft.com ]

More information about the mesa-dev mailing list