[FFmpeg-devel] License for iPhone app

Dominik 'Rathann' Mierzejewski dominik
Thu Dec 10 12:11:37 CET 2009

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. I might be totally wrong here.

On Thursday, 10 December 2009 at 07:37, Toshihide Tanaka wrote:
> Now, I'm planing some commercial iPhone apps with FFmpeg.
> I build FFmpeg libraries for iPhone, with great help from this ML.
> But, as you know, Apple does not allow iPhone apps to link with local
> dynamic libraries.
> So, if I want to use FFmpeg in my iPhone app, the only way is to link
> them as static libraries.
> It violates LGPL, I think.

Why do you think so?

> In case, do I have to open my source codes, following GPL (not LGPL) ?

It's explicitly stated in both licences: if you're linking to FFmpeg
libraries distributed under the GPL, then yes. If under LGPL, then you
have to provide only the source for the libraries themselves. But do
re-read the licences if you're still uncertain or consult a lawyer.

> Of cource, I'll accept all requirements to follow *GPL, e.g. copyright
> showing, site link, etc.
> Also I'll accept to open my source codes if no other way, but if
> possible I don't want to open them.
> I configured FFmpeg without '--enable-gpl --enable-nonfree', and no
> source code change, so I think the resulting libraries are *almost*
> The only problem is static linking.

Using --enable-gpl AND --enable-nonfree makes FFmpeg binaries
non-distributable. It's not a question of static linking at all.

> It is not developer side matter, it's develop environment matter.
> For example, "cocos2d for iPhone" project extends LGPL to allow to use
> it as static library.
> http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/wiki/doku.php/license
> So I wish FFmpeg.org to have special consideration like this, for all
> iPhone developers.

What exception do you need, exactly? So far you haven't provided
a clear case that would need one.


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