Of course, knowing Phoronix, one might deduce that those are simply pointless plugs of previous articles... which is confusing. If you're linking something, it has to do with the article in some fashion, IMHO.
Shouldn't the FSF jump in and protect these guys?, they seem to be threatened, this is very bad for the project.
About the forking, the project might not be healthy, because developers can't really have fun while doing it, because they get menaces from big companies, so the project stalls(a bit at least) and there are some people who DO want to keep going, so they fork.
If no legal thread would happen, and people in there get to talk more, I think those forks wouldn't be needed.
So please FSF jump in and say something.
FSF members don't ever read fsf bugzilla.
I think you meant:
"While legal threats to free software projects would be disastrous to those seeking to encourage Linux and open-source work"
"While legal threats to free software projects would be great for those seeking to destory Linux and open-source work"
From what I gather, Attila Kinali was one of the main instigators in the libav 'fork' (well, attempted hostile takeover actually) so I can't help but wonder if this mplayer spat is a result of that (seems the projects share a number of developers). There certainly seems to be alot of bad blood in the mplayer/ffmpeg developer pool of late. Of course there are always two sides to this, and one side is never totally right/wrong.
Maybe we will have some light shed on these matters as the dust settles.
As for those taking the higher ground and declaring it a soap opera, these are people just like you and me. We certainly set no higher examples in these forums so why would we expect it from anyone else? And having worked as a programmer for the majority of my working-life I can attest that ego-driven confrontations is nothing out of the ordinary, in my own experience particularly programmers vs management has been a never-ending battle of will's.