[FFmpeg-user] Can I use FFmpeg.exe command line in my proprietary software

H. Vidal, Jr. hvidal at tesseract-tech.com
Mon Aug 8 02:48:42 CEST 2011

On 08/07/2011 08:22 PM, Phil Rhodes wrote:
>> Just please consider that this isn't truly helping
>> the users and engineers on this code.
> Well, it is intended to.

Then perhaps we can be constructive about this.

> The fact that what I'm saying is unpopular does not make it untrue.

Again the potential benefits of open discourse...

> You could also consider the fact that nobody has answered the question -
> because, I suspect, it is unanswerable.

I assume this q is coming up and.....

> If I build an embedded device with ffmpeg in it and rent or sell that
> device to someone, how do I comply?

It is my understanding, perhaps flawed, that if the ffmpeg
technology is used at the 'source' level (meaning, actual
C from ffmpeg is used in a product) then this product is
subject to GPL. This means that (again, as I understand it(
one (meaning the 'device' developer and seller) would be
compelled to publish the code incorporating the ffmpeg sources.

I may have this wrong, but I am trying..... :)

If, however, the code is used as a set of 'linked libraries'
then I (again, may be wrong) believe that the LGPL clause
kicks in.

(are ffmpeg libraries under LGPL?)

Thus, one would have to supply attribution to ffmpeg
("....my code uses ffmpeg, copyright original authors,
etc...") and also centrally publish source to ffmpeg
or link to library as used, in question.

I kind of hope I have this wrong, so that a better
expert will note my errors and I can learn a bit from
this exchange....

> Who, at what postal address, is the
> legal representative of the ffmpeg project authorised to act on its
> behalf in terms of license negotiations?

It's my understanding that there are a group of core developers,
no? At least under US law, the copyright is theirs. If they
publish it under an open source license, and the terms of
the license are violated, a civil suit can be filed against
the breaching party.

> The answer to those two questions is, I suspect, "nobody knows", because
> under the current rules nobody can possibly know.

You may be right, but perhaps we can try to get this cleared
up....let's give it a whirl.

Any correcting comments most welcome.


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