[FFmpeg-devel] New project using ffmpeg

Diego Biurrun diego
Fri Jan 4 16:38:47 CET 2008

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 12:42:08PM +0100, Cezary Falba wrote:
> On 23 Dec 2007, at 22:14, Diego Biurrun wrote:
>> On Wed, Dec 19, 2007 at 12:25:52PM +0000, Cezary Falba wrote:
>>> On 18 Dec 2007, at 17:34, Diego Biurrun wrote:
>>>> On Tue, Dec 18, 2007 at 11:43:36AM +0000, Cezary Falba wrote:
>>>>> On 18 Dec 2007, at 08:20, Diego Biurrun wrote:
>>>>>> Also, you claim that your software is available under the GPL,
>>>>>> but when I download the source code, there is no sign of the GPL
>>>>>> anywhere and all files are marked as copyrighted by you or Saffron
>>>>>> Digital or lack any copyright or license information. This makes
>>>>>> them effectively non- free.
>>>>>> Also, there is the following statement on your website:
>>>>>> By downloading our software you accept the GPL licence which can be
>>>>>> found here.
>>>>>> This makes me think that you still haven't read the GPL, since it
>>>>>> contains a paragraph about the need to accept the license that this
>>>>>> conflicts with.
>>>>>> Releasing your software under a license you have not read is
>>>>>> tantamount to buying a house/car/whatever without reading the
>>>>>> contract. I'll contact you in private with some excellent Brooklyn
>>>>>> bridges that I have for sale at premium conditions...
>>>>> Thanks a lot for checking a site and all advices.
>>>>> I just fixed a website and added a license to both sources and
>>>>> installers.
>>>>> It will be highly appreciated if you could re-check that page again
>>>>> when you have few minutes.
>>>>> There is no rush as we still have time before we officially release it
>>>>> to public.
>>>> I have trouble testing the Mac version since it now seems to require OS
>>>> X 10.5, but I'm still on 10.4.  Your website claims that only 10.4 is
>>>> required..
>>>> You have added LGPL copyright headers to your source files, but the
>>>> license text you include is the GPL.  This looks like an oversight from
>>>> you.  Also, your copyright headers only contain two of the three
>>>> paragraphs commonly used for this purpose.
>>>> Are you using FFmpeg in GPL mode?
>>>> I'm being told that the Windows installer of your program is totally
>>>> broken and installs stuff into C: instead of the path it claims to
>>>> install to.  It also displays a license different from the (L)GPL.
>>>> The Windows source package contains a __MACOSX directory, weird.
>>>> I still find it awkward that the first mentions of FFmpeg, AviSynth and
>>>> Perl on the above website are not links to homepages.  Instead you hide
>>>> those links at the bottom of the page.
>>>> So it's getting better, but you're still not at 100%.
>>> Good to hear from you that we are get better with that.
>>> I just made some tweaks to installers and website.
>>> I also replaced license files with proper LGPL...
>> Well, we are moving sideways, rather than forward.  Here is a list of
>> issues, some of which are old:
>> - The Windows source code link gives "403 Permission denied".
>> - The OS X installer claims to work on system 10.4.6 or later.  When I
>>  try to install on 10.4.11 I get a message that "10.4.6 or later is
>>  required", well I thought that 11 > 6, but oh well ...
>> - You mark your source files as LGPL 2.1 or later, but the license file
>>  you include and link to is the LGPL version 3.  What is it going to
>>  be?
>> - You do not provide FFmpeg sources for download.  A pointer to our
>>  homepage is not enough.  You need to give people the exact source you
>>  are using.
>> - In the paragraph
>>    Saffron Master Encoder is our in house encoding utility made on top
>>    of open source projects such as: FFmpeg, AviSynth and Perl that
>>    prepares your source video to be used with our mobile delivery
>>    platform.
>>  the words FFmpeg, AviSynth and Perl should be clickable links that
>>  lead to each project's homepage.  You have put links below that
>>  paragraph, but this feels awkward and FFmpeg is missing.
>>  This is a minor issue, but it would be nice if you could fix it.
>> Overall I have to say this is starting to feel a bit like free
>> consulting work for your company.  I'm under the impression that you
>> still have not read the licenses or its FAQs yourself.  Instead you have
>> me go over the results of your tries to comply with the license.  I'm
>> not seeing you put in the necessary effort to amend the situation.  This
>> is frustrating.
> I've fixed OS X installer, replaced licenses in both installers and source
> codes and fixed web site. Now there are links in paragraph you pointed.

The OS X installer is not fixed, it still refuses to run on my 10.4.11
system, claiming that "10.4.6 or later is required".

Anyway, others tell me that your Windows installer does display the LGPL
now.  However, there is no way to uninstall your program.  While this is
entirely your problem, don't expect us to recommend your program to
anyone this way.

> I've also added information about getting FFmpeg source from SVN.

This is not enough.  I thought I was clear about this in the paragraph
above.  You need to provide complete FFmpeg source code including any
modifications you did.  Sending people to our homepage is not enough.

When I download the Mac OS X source code and try to build it in xcode,
the build fails because the ffmpeg executable is missing.

> And I'm very sorry you got that feeling. I fully understand and apologize.
> I don't want to bother you every time I do some change to the site but me
> and my bosses really want to be all right with FFmpeg and other guys
> whose work we use in this project.

I'll be honest and blunt now: I do not want your apologies, I want you
to work harder on this and not use me as free consulting labor.  I
pointed out 4 issues (plus one minor) above, you fixed two.

If you and your bosses really want to be all right with us and use open
source code while respecting copyrights and not breaking the law, you
need to take this much more seriously.

In one of my mails I asked you whether you used FFmpeg in GPL mode or
not.  You never answered my question.  I looked myself, this is the
output of the Windows version you use:

FFmpeg version SVN-r8797, Copyright (c) 2000-2007 Fabrice Bellard, et al.
  configuration: --enable-gpl --enable-pp --enable-swscaler --enable-pthreads --enable-liba52 --enable-avisynth --enable-libdts --enable-libfaac --enable-libfaad --enable-libgsm --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libnut --enable-libogg --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-x264 --enable-xvid --enable-amr_nb
--enable-amr_wb --cpu=i686 --enable-memalign-hack --extra-ldflags=-static

So you are using it in GPL mode, but what is more important is that you
also compile with libamr support, which is non-free and not
redistributable.  As long as you keep distributing this binary you are
violating the copyright of 3GPP.

I'm going to make you a numbered list of issues and questions, maybe this
way you will find it easier to address all of them.

0. You are using libamr.  That's entirely your problem, but you are in
   breach of copyright.

1. You are still not providing FFmpeg source code.  You need to provide
   the exact source code you are using, including any modifications.
   Pointing at our homepage or Subversion repo is *not* enough.

2. If you continue using FFmpeg in GPL mode, the license of your program
   becomes the GPL.  You have to update your licenses accordingly.

3. The OS X installer is broken, at least on OS X 10.4.11, I have no way
   to verify your claims that you fixed its other issues.

4. Have you read the LGPL?  The GPL?  The GPL FAQ?

best regards


P.S.: Please keep the CC, restoring it everytime is getting annoying.

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