[FFmpeg-devel] License for iPhone app

Diego Biurrun diego
Thu Dec 10 13:17:19 CET 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 03:37:25PM +0900, Toshihide Tanaka wrote:
> 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.

No, what gave you the idea?  Technical details have no bearing on legal
matters, ever.

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

If you are willing to do that, just go down that route, it will be the
best result for everybody.

> I configured FFmpeg without '--enable-gpl --enable-nonfree', and no
> source code change, so I think the resulting libraries are *almost*

What gives you the idea that the result is *almost* LGPL.  Didn't
configure print a clear license statement for you?

> The only problem is static linking.
> It is not developer side matter, it's develop environment matter.

This is false.  As a general rule legal and development environment
matters do not have side-effects on each other.

> 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

These people don't have a clue about licensing.  Also, by these
exceptions they transformed LGL v3 to a gift-style BSD/MIT/X11/ISC-type
license.  They might as well use the original directly.  That would save
everybody the confusion.

> So I wish FFmpeg.org to have special consideration like this, for all
> iPhone developers.

There will be no exceptions for environments that some proprietary
system vendor cooked up.  There is no telling where such a slippery
slope might end.


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