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With 3.5.3.0 emby is no longer open source?


pryoclastic
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The source is here as it always has been:

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/Emby

 

However the installed version built by Emby is closed source because it contains additional modules that we're not able to open source for various reasons. Some features have come at a great cost to build, whether that be our own development hours, or developers that we have added to our team. Other features are actively costing us money, and other features we've signed NDA's for in order to utilize private api's. Hopefully you will understand and appreciate the hard work that we've put into this. Thanks.

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pryoclastic

The source is here as it always has been:

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/Emby

 

So my admin'ing of my Emby server is on a really long elliptical orbit and I have just have always taken the emby "open source" moniker at face value to mean 100% open.

 

I am not complaining but it seems like a stretch after closer inspection because there are a TON of dll's that are in use.  Perhaps "mostly open" or "somewhat open" source would have been better.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

That said, the only reason why this came up is because my pkg database says it is up to date:

# pkg upgrade

Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...

FreeBSD repository is up to date.

All repositories are up to date.

Checking for upgrades (9 candidates): 100%

Processing candidates (9 candidates): 100%

Checking integrity... done (0 conflicting)

Your packages are up to date.

 

But my installed emby rev level is still at 5.3.2.0:

# pkg search -f emby

emby-server-3.5.2.0

Name           : emby-server

Version        : 3.5.2.0

Origin         : multimedia/emby-server

Architecture   : FreeBSD:11:*

Prefix         : /usr/local

Repository     : FreeBSD [pkg+http://pkg.FreeBSD.org/FreeBSD:11:amd64/quarterly]

Categories     : multimedia

Licenses       : GPLv2

Maintainer     : woodsb02@FreeBSD.org

WWW            : https://emby.media/

Comment        : Home media server built using mono and other open source technologies

Options        :

        X11            : on

Annotations    :

Flat size      : 44.2MiB

Pkg size       : 9.79MiB

Description    :

Emby Server is a home media server built on top of other popular

open source technologies such as Service Stack, jQuery, jQuery mobile,

and Mono.

 

It features a REST-based api with built-in documention to facilitate

client development. We also have client libraries for our api to enable

rapid development.

 

WWW: https://emby.media/

 

It's late and I may be missing something obvious.

 

:D

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Our 3.5.3 submission has just been accepted over the last couple days, so perhaps you could try again. Thanks.

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Could that explain why Schedules Direct dropped it off the list of "supported" software?

 

So what exactly do we not get if we choose to build from source/ports vs. take the 'official' binary?

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  • 1 month later...
acjohnson1985

I just want to say how disappointing this is for me. I've been an Emby user for about a year and a half now. I switched from Plex for two reasons.

 

1.) The Plex new transcoder (ffmpeg fork) seems unnecessary and also appears to violate the GPL/LGPL as Plex does not appear to be concerned about contributing source code back to the actual ffmpeg project and rarely gets released back to the public... Also Plex has two transcoders, the new (old?) transcoder as well as the Universal presumably entirely closed source transcoder. Also I had performance issues with the New transcoder in Plex but that was a long time ago on some very old hardware. There were some strange Chromecast issues as well with Plex but I suspect those problems got resolved eventually.

 

2.) Emby "appeared" to be the FOSS supporter go to choice for free software when I switched to it in May/June last year. It was a fully open source and used vanilla ffmpeg as its transcoder. Also it included a way to pay for it by incorporating a paywall to unlock useful features such as Emby sync. I wanted to sync my videos to my phone so I went ahead and purchased a lifetime license for Emby Premiere since I felt like I was supporting a solid FOSS project. Also I was very impressed with the smooth migration to .NET Core and thought for sure that it meant a more open future for the Emby project...

 

Ever since switching to Emby I've been a happy user and have advocated it to friends as a more open solution (even though closed source components have been in use since August of last year...)

 

Now I can no longer make this claim as it is no longer true...

 

I'm sure whatever decisions that had to be made are long past decided on so I don't expect this post to change your minds.

 

I see there is a fork now called Jellyfin so I must not be alone in feeling this way.

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Hi, the problem is that we have new features that are costing us money and we're not able to open source them. Additionally we also have paid developer help now. We're putting a lot of resources into improving our software, and that makes it difficult to just give it away to potential competitors, which is what the gpl license would allow for. if this project were just fun and games then sure, it'd be no problem, but this is our jobs and things are different. Hopefully our hard work and dedication will be able to win you over. Thanks for the feedback.

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Problem is that I'm not sure the new features that cost you money worth it at all.

 

You're about to loose part of your community over some unclear moves and bad reasons.

 

That's sad.

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Blackclaws

You've made the decision to basically go closed source on the emby project in regards to the core. That is your decision. However could you in the interest of the community that has supported you for the last couple of years and now is moving on with regards to the open core make sure that all the components that were intended to be released as open source have an accompanying license?

 

For example:

 

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/Emby.Common

 

which is required to build the last released open source version has no license in the repository. There is an ongoing issue on that repository since the beginning. It would be real great if you could spare a couple of minutes to simply make sure all the repositories you have on github actually do have a license associated. Thanks!

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makarai

Hi, the problem is that we have new features that are costing us money and we're not able to open source them.

Hey Luke, I completely understand that some of the features cost money and that they might be closed source, but why not transfer that into a modular system, where the core system stays open source and the stuff that cost you money is closed source and plugin based, so people can decide if they want to install that certain plugin, and or, pay money for it.

Edited by makarai
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daedalus

 

Is Emby server fully open source? If yes, what license are you using and why did you choose it to make open source?

Emby Server is fully open source under GPL V2.0. Anyone can run from source and be up and running in a matter of minutes. It's important to mention though that our goal is to produce the best experience we possibly can. If an agreement with a potential partner were to require us to make certain modules closed source, then we would not hesitate to do that. These situations are reserved for standalone, optional features and will not prevent running the core server from source.

https://www.linux.com/news/exclusive-interview-emby-founder-luke-pulverenti

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Baenwort

 

I hope Emby can see a way to restoring themselves to being open source. It's why I'm here and paying instead of over at PLEX or pirating.

 

I know it's an abstract principle (I've never built from source nor had time to make a commit myself) but it's the same abstract principle that drives me to do things to reduce climate impacts that I personally won't see any harm from or donate to social programs I'll never use or see directly.

 

I've been staying on 3.5.3 for this reason and hoping that it will reverse itself before something breaking occurs that drives me off Emby.

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We'd love to as well. I think something we have to figure out is, if we are paying developers to help improve the software, then do we really want to expose that work for others to fork into a potentially competing project. That is one source of concern for us, and we are open to feedback and suggestions. Either way, we hope we will be able to win you over with our hard work and dedication.

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In my case, it's never been about who wins over who. It's not about divorced people fighting over who gets the kids.

 

It's about what _project_ fits ones needs. FOSS is at the heart of that decision.

 

Plus there were never any competitive fork in the market *before* you decided to go closed source.

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Besides, the whole forking thing is the beauty of open sourced and open licensed software. If people fork your project that means you have enough impact for people to care enough to take on the burden of developing your code further. And frankly, decisions like this or god forbid violation license terms are one of many occasions that might drive people to go and fork a project. So sure at the same time it also means that somewhere someone disagrees with how the show it run, but that is fine. Let the best code win.

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unsubtledefiance

Just wanted to chip in and say that I've cancelled my subscription because of this. I wanted to support the developers on a regular basis, but having this go closed source really disappoints me. I don't know if trying to go open source again in the future will help much, as the open source community does not forgive that easily. Especially seeing how this entire situation was handled. I'm already transitioning to Jellyfin and when they allow donations I will be supporting them.

 

I keep hearing about "new features that cost money," but I never see which features these are exactly. Are they ones that us users wanted? Or are they "features" like Podcasts and News in Plex?

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I keep hearing about "new features that cost money," but I never see which features these are exactly. Are they ones that us users wanted?

 

It's really everything at this point, not just standalone features, but our core development is being supported by paid developers.

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acjohnson1985

Are you getting a good feeling about this decision? Will closing the source code actually cause Emby to have a larger revenue stream, or is this just the beginning of the end for Emby?

 

Does this decision increase the number of supported platforms and features or will it discourage the community and cause people to want to fork your code even more??

 

Also, I'm not saying this could happen, but what if hypothetically ffmpeg decides to close their source code and force projects like Emby to pay a license or royalty? Are you prepared to rewrite the transcoder in Emby as well just as Plex already has done?

 

Do you feel your decision is justified enough to go back on the promise YOU personally made to the community back in September 2015 to keep the core of Emby free and open source forever...?

 

If you can't answer all of those questions with confidence then I suspect you have made this decision without proper justification and have done it hastily, in a rush of emotion, which will almost certainly cause Emby to fail.

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Ffmpeg would need permission from all prior contributors in order to do that. That's a process that, even if successful, it would probably take years, judging by how long it took mpv to switch from gpl to lgpl.

 

I think this is one of those things that doesn't have a perfect answer.

 

Keep in mind we are not fully closed source as we have over 70 public GitHub repositories. Does that count for anything.

 

I think it is possible for the idea of a personal source code license to return in the future, but a license of our own design that would allow hobbyists to tinker, while giving us certain protections that are important to us.

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By the way, that other server you mentioned is still very much dependant on ffmpeg just as we are. They've simply rebranded it with a new name.

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Baenwort

I keep hearing about "new features that cost money," but I never see which features these are exactly. Are they ones that us users wanted? Or are they "features" like Podcasts and News in Plex?

 

 I'm confused why new features costing money is any different than it was before? New features always cost developer time and if Emby wasn't sustainable under the income while open source I don't see how closing the source will make the income increase faster than it did under the open source model?

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