[vlc-devel] Plugins license compatibility

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Fri Nov 27 11:59:36 CET 2009


It seems that some packagers are not paying due attention to licensing
constraints when building VLC. VLC is distributed under GNU GPL version 2
or later. However, some plugins depend on libraries that are licensed
solely under (L)GPL version 2. Conversely, some plugins depend on libraries
that are with GPL version 3, but not GPL version 2. To my understanding,
you _CANNOT_ mix both categories in the same binary distribution.

I am not aware of any exhaustive list. Checking licenses is the job of
packagers, not mine. But at least, we are aware of the following cases:

- taglib meta plugin:
  taglib requires GPL version 2.

- dirac codec plugin:
  dirac requires GPL version 2 (but schroedinger does not).

- access_smb access plugin (except on Windows):
  libsmbclient requires GPL version 3 in recent versions.

- access_scp access plugin:
  libssh requires GPL version 3 (due to BSD advertisement clause).

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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