[FFmpeg-user] use of x264 "within ffmpeg" in a non GPL application [legal]?

Harald Jordan harald.jordan at redstream.at
Tue Nov 20 20:43:43 CET 2012

Please just ignore this If you were just pointing to the FFMPEG Licensing and not to any encoding/decoding Libs Licensing issues.

Maybe it is worth to mention here... about 6 years ago, I tried to use a GPL Licensed decoder in a company that was driven by the state. As a project manager I still had enough money within the project scope and wouldnt care about spending up to 50.000€ or even more for the licensing of 5000 Clients. 
The project would make company internal use of (GPL or was it GNU?) Licensed Decoders and Encoder Libs for MPEG2... So I called MPEGLA and asked them for a quote. They answered that it is not within their business model to license company internal usage, they desperately want to have the "vendor" of the Open Source Software to pay the licenses. The result of this phone call was that they did not use words for it, but they gave me the feeling that still using the Decoders without a license was illegal. In the end he asked me if I know what to do now, I just replied: yes, I am going to use the software. He did not reply to this and whished me a nice evening.

However, I would tend to buy the Licenses (if possible) for any commercial project. The only possible workaround that I know would be to have the customer downloading the Open Source Part himself. Another idea would be to deliver an installer that opens a downloadmanager and lets the customer click on "download" button before starting the download. This way the customer is responsible for licensing the video codec...
One can license the http://x264licensing.com/ here, but they also only start at an amount of 5000 Licenses or more... so I guess they just don’t care about the small fishes ;-)


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: ffmpeg-user-bounces at ffmpeg.org [mailto:ffmpeg-user-bounces at ffmpeg.org] Im Auftrag von Tom Evans
Gesendet: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:19 PM
An: FFmpeg user questions
Betreff: Re: [FFmpeg-user] use of x264 "within ffmpeg" in a non GPL application [legal]?

On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM, Roger Pack <rogerdpack2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've gotten this question a few times:
> If somebody is building a proprietary app, which uses "ffmpeg.exe"
> underneath (for example for streaming), where ffmpeg was compiled with 
> --enable-gpl and includes x264:  What's your take on this? Should it 
> be "allowed" license wise?
> Cheers!
> -roger-

As long as source code for that specific ffmpeg is bundled/available, then why shouldn't it be?


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