[Libav-user] about ffmpeg's lgpl

Carl Eugen Hoyos cehoyos at ag.or.at
Wed Dec 7 11:11:17 CET 2011

Alex Cohn <alexcohn at ...> writes:

> PS I often find the reactions to licensing questions on this and other
> open software lists intimidating. I believe that open software should
> (pun intended) be promoted, among other ways, by making it easier to
> understand and use, even at risk of somebody unintentionally
> misunderstanding of some legal fine print. If, to use free software,
> the developers must (pun intended) pay the lawyers, maybe it would be
> healthier (and cheaper) to pay for software?


I had contact with many companies / individuals who use FFmpeg in their
commercial product and do not care the slightest about the (L)GPL. You can find
some email exchange on gmane in ffmpeg.issues, it should show in an impressive
way that they are very often simply refusing to read the license, but ask why we
require - for example - source code distribution.
So apart from the fact that working on the code (or answering actual user
questions) is much more fun, yes, I am sometimes short-tempered when it comes to
license questions.
(Note that I do not remember anybody ever asking "Is it sufficient if I do this
and that to fulfil this requirement of the license?" but always "Can I use
FFmpeg in my commercial product if I do not change the code?")

Thank you for your help, Carl Eugen

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