Two good reasons why the license of mplayer must be GPL without restrictions (Re: [MPlayer-users] Re: License)

Michael Hunold M.Hunold at
Tue Oct 9 19:00:27 CEST 2001

Hello André and others,

> This was a concern I had before, but with the new conditions specified
> in the docs I think this is covered. Mplayer's own code (written from
> scratch by Arpi & co) is not released under the GPL since they want the
> possibility to restrict redistribution of binaries. The code which is
> borrowed from other projects are specified as still carrying the license
> it had before.
> So unless code has been borrowed even for "their own code" I don't see a
> violation of the GPL.

Sorry, but this is simply wrong.

Although I did not want to
participate in this thread, I have to interfere here, because
most of you are discussing without regarding the basic facts.

I don't want to flame you and all the others (and especially
I am *not* Mr. I-Know-Everything), but who of you has
ever read the GPL or the excellent GPL-Faq on the
GNU website?

Please have a look at

There are at least two good reasons why Mplayer's licencse
must be GPL without any restrictions:

Reason 1:

Mplayer simply *includes* libraries like libmpeg2, libac3, ...
which are GPL. The faq clearly says to this fact:

If a library is released under the GPL (not the LGPL),
does that mean that any program which uses it has to be under the GPL?

Yes, because the program as it is actually run includes the library. 

So you cannot "borrow" something from a GPL library
and give your program some other license than GPL.
So Mplayer's license must be GPL.

Reason 2:

You cannot restrict the license of a GPL'ed program
to something like "GPL plus this restriction":

The GPL says (in very sophisticated english)
You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise
of the rights granted herein.


So it's completly clear that Mplayer's licence must
be GPL without any restrictions (e.g. for binary

Please let's end this thread here.

> André Dahlqvist <andre.dahlqvist at>

One last note: the existing code should be changed
to follow the guidelines stated in the faq.

This means that the every *.c file should have an
appropiate header and that the file COPYING should
be present.


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