[vlc-devel] [vlc-commits] contrib: FreeType: require GPL

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Mon Sep 25 20:31:08 CEST 2017

Le maanantaina 25. syyskuuta 2017, 19.32.01 EEST Jean-Baptiste Kempf a écrit :
> Hello Rémi,
> Are you sure about that?


> https://freetype.org/freetype2/docs/index.html says:
> "FreeType is released under two open-source licenses: our own BSD-like
> FreeType License and the GNU Public License, Version 2. It can thus be
> used by any kind of projects, be they proprietary or not."

docs/LICENSE.TXT says:

"- The FreeType License, found in  the file `FTL.TXT', which is similar
    to the original BSD license *with* an advertising clause that forces
    you  to  explicitly cite  the  FreeType  project  in your  product's
    documentation.  All  details are in the license  file.  This license
    is  suited  to products  which  don't  use  the GNU  General  Public

    Note that  this license  is  compatible  to the  GNU General  Public
    License version 3, but not version 2.

  - The GNU General Public License version 2, found in  `GPLv2.TXT' (any
    later version can be used  also), for programs which already use the
    GPL.  Note  that the  FTL is  incompatible  with  GPLv2 due  to  its
    advertisement clause."

So unless you patch the LibVLC app to advertise FreeType, the only option is 

If somebody really knows what s/he is doing, i.e. actually adds the 
advertisement clause in his/her non-GPL app, s/he can manually revert this 
patch in his/her downstream LibVLC fork. That does not sound like a safe 
assumption in upstream IMO.


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