[FFmpeg-user] Question about licencing

Carl Eugen Hoyos ceffmpeg at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 18:22:00 EEST 2020

> Am 01.06.2020 um 05:16 schrieb Henry Rooney <henners72 at gmail.com>:

> Questions I have.
> Can we use ffmpeg for our demo without breaching any licence.

Disclaimer 1: I am not an intellectual-property lawyer, actually no lawyer at all. To the best of my knowledge no IP lawyer posts on this mailing list. We expect many half-professional users to ask their IP-related questions their IP lawyers, I would have expected that you have access to a few of them.

Disclaimer 2: I am not a native speaker but I consider the word “demo” very unclear, even with your additional explanation.

Disclaimer 3: Nobody can answer your question about „any license“, we can try to answer some FFmpeg-related questions.

Your question above is about “usage” of FFmpeg and I can imagine many demos that only “use” FFmpeg. The license terms of FFmpeg do not limit usage, except for a no-warranty clause that you have to accept: You don’t have to tell us that you accept the clause but if you don’t accept it you cannot legally use FFmpeg.

What is limited by the license terms is the distribution of FFmpeg. If you are distributing binaries based on FFmpeg source code restrictions apply, read the GPL and/or the LGPL and please note that I would expect your employer to heavily restrict the distribution of multimedia binaries based on (L)GPL source code.

> What documentation do I need to include on Git to ensure that users are
> aware that they are using FFMPEG and need to adhere to the licencing of
> that product.

Yes, if you distribute binaries based on LGPL‘d source code, you have tell your users that they install software under LGPL, you have to provide the license file and the source code (and you have to support relinking and you must not forbid reverse engineering). How you tell them is your decision.
If the GPL applies, allowing re-linking is not enough, the complete source code has to be provided.

Carl Eugen

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