[vlc-devel] Re: Help wanted for small (?) VLC development job

Rémi Denis-Courmont rem at videolan.org
Mon May 21 20:20:22 CEST 2007

Le lundi 21 mai 2007, Jean-Paul Saman a écrit :
> > I am working with a company that wants to use VLC in a (hopefully)
> > widely-distributed set-top-type video receiver box.  We are
> > currently hoping to primarily use one particular codec.  The
> > problem is that the codec in question is not supported under VLC
> > and (importantly) is non-free.
> If the codec is non-free, then it is not possible to link it with VLC
> and distribute it to your customers. A way around this is having the
> non-free codec in a DSP and interface with it through a DMA or
> PCI-type of channel.
> Pleas read the COPYING file in vlc source code or the GPL license
> text on FSF.org

IANAL (and neither are you), but this is probably not completely true. 
For one thing, I believe copyrights infrigements can only be proven in 
court. Secondly, I assume that the GPL can only apply to derivative 
work, which is a matter of interpretation and quite possibly of 
country-specific IPR law implementations.

We do already have several plugins loading external non-free libraries: 
Quicktime, DirectMedia Object (not counting that VLC runs on many 
non-GPL C runtimes).

And we have the ActiveX (and Mozilla) plugins that makes it easy to use 
VLC through non-GPL software, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. I 
understand that there might some subtleties with MSIE not being 
distributed along VLC however.

I am not a lawyer, but I presume that non-free codecs are actually not 
subject to the GPL if they do not depend on VLC themselves and are 
dynamic linked through a GPL'd "glue" VLC plugin.

In any case, it is best to triple check the particular case with a 
lawyer than make any strong statement (which the damn lawyers will not 
make anyway but that's a different story).

Note well: This email is NOT an advocacy of non-free codecs.

Rémi Denis-Courmont
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 197 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mailman.videolan.org/pipermail/vlc-devel/attachments/20070521/09293ff0/attachment.sig>

More information about the vlc-devel mailing list