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

Reimar Döffinger Reimar.Doeffinger at gmx.de
Tue Aug 14 09:04:24 CEST 2012

On 14 Aug 2012, at 00:38, Michael Niedermayer <michaelni at gmx.at> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 08:34:17PM +0200, Reimar Döffinger wrote:
>> 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>)"
> can you elaborate on the problem you see in my suggested change of the
> text ? (iam asking so i can suggest a better text)

Nothing really in particular except that it is very vague and IMHO seems to be even less help for deciding what to do than mine.

> IMHO your text sounds a bit odd, fearfull and uncertain so i prefer if
> it could be worded differently.

Really? All it was meant to say is: not distributing it is safe, everything else we hereby declare YOUR PROBLEM. And one group seems to have decided (by a technical board, wtf?) that it's not a problem.

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