[vlc] VLC UnRAR license

Rémi Denis-Courmont rem at videolan.org
Sun Jan 18 17:27:07 CET 2009

	Hej Fredrick,

I recently noticed you've been putting a pair of VLC plugins for download at 

As far as I can tell, libaccess_filter_unrar_plugin.* constitutes a derivative 
work of the VLC media player. Similarly libunrar_dvdnav_plugin.* derives from 
VLC and dvdnav. As you stated, VLC and dvdnav are licensed under the GNU 
General Public License version 2 (GPL). As per the terms of section 3 
thereof, you are hence required to provide the *full* source code for these 
two files under that same license with no additionnal restrictions.

It appears you are providing some of the source code under the terms of a 
2-clause BSD copyright license. This seems fine, as I believe its 
restrictions are a subset of those of the GPL.

However, another of the source code is licensed "The UnRAR license". As far as 
I understand its terms, section 2 imposes a GPL-incompatible restriction upon 
users: "The UnRAR sources (...) cannot be used to re-create the RAR 
compression algorithm". As a consequence, it would seem that distribution of 
your two "VLC UnRAR" plugins exerts copyrighted materials of the VideoLAN 
project with no or inappropriate license. Hence it would seem to be an 
infringement of our copyright under EU legislation and the equivalent in 
member countries.

If this is the case, please cease distribution of the infringing (i.e. binary 
form) files as soon as possible.

I understand your intention is only to improve the user experience of VLC. 
However, I believe VLC would not be what it is nowadays had it not been 
copyleft open-source.

[1] http://www.shapeshifter.se/code/vlc-unrar/
[2] http://www.shapeshifter.se/code/vlc-unrar/license/

Best regards,

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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