[Libav-user] Getting to grips with ffmpeg

Carl Eugen Hoyos cehoyos at ag.or.at
Sun Feb 5 19:27:57 CET 2012

John Dexter <jdxsolutions at ...> writes:

> (Or in other words: It will only affect you if you want H264 encoding
> but are not willing to buy a commercial x264 license.)
> Sorry, I need to ask about that in more detail after more thought. 
> There are 2 separate issues here it seems...
> Whether I can use ffmpeg libraries to encode H264 without making my 
> entire application GPL?
> Whether I need to pay for a H264 license 

> Is the situation I can use ffmpeg L-GPL if I pay for a H264 license, 
> but without buying that license I can only use H264 for full GPL? 
> Or am I totally misunderstanding the situation?

The situation is that if you link your application against a GPL'd 
library (or against libavcodec linking against a GPL'd library) 
then your application gets GPL'd itself (or you are not complying 
with the GPL, making you a copyright violator).

The LGPL allows you to link against non-free object files as long 
as you follow some restrictions - see http://ffmpeg.org/legal.html 
- so if your H264 encoding library is *not* licensed under the GPL 
(but a proprietary or "commercial" license) there should be no 

The remaining questions are certainly not within the scope of 
this mailing list, please visit http://x264licensing.com/

Please set your mailer to "plain text" instead of html, Carl Eugen

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