[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] LICENSE: remove incorrect statements that leaked in from libav

Reimar Döffinger Reimar.Doeffinger at gmx.de
Mon Aug 13 20:34:17 CEST 2012

On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 08:15:09PM +0200, Reimar Döffinger wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 07:07:04PM +0200, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
> > This is based on the ubuntu technical committee understanding of
> > the libfaac license:
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/technical-board/2011-February/000703.html
> > 
> > That is
> > 1. libfaac is not LGPL itself as a whole
> > 2. libfaac is not GPL compatible (additional restrictions violate GPL)
> > 3. libfaac is distributable (ubuntu distributes it)
> > 4. libfaac contains LGPL code itself (stated in libfaac README and other places)
> > from above axioms one can conclude libfaac must be linkable with LGPL code
> > because where it not, it itself could not be distributed
> 4) could be based on assuming that libfaac authors would automatically
> give you rights beyond what the LGPL does, thus allowing it to be
> combined with non-LGPL compatible code.
> As to the incompatibility there is in section 6 of LGPL v2.1:
> > provided that the terms permit
> > modification of the work for the customer's own use and reverse
> > engineering for debugging such modifications.
> The libfaac license under discussion does _not_ permit you to make
> modifications, since any modification that would make the code not
> standards-compatible would mean that you loose your license to it.
> That is ignoring the fact that if you are pedantic since no software,
> and certainly also libfaac, is bug free the code probably never was
> standards compliant and thus nobody ever had a license to distribute
> it ever, even stand-alone.

I know that the disclaimer rather belongs on top, but I should say
that's of course my (pedantic) reading of it, and lawyers and courts
may have different opinions.
If you mind the description, personally I would go for "we think it is
possible it might be unredistributable, but we don't know. It is up to
you to either not redistribute the result, consult a lawyer or just take
the risk (Ubuntu seems to have chosen the last one <link>)"

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