[FFmpeg-trac] #9466(documentation:new): FFmpeg documentation saying libx265 is GPLv2 or later, libx265 is GPLv2 only?

FFmpeg trac at avcodec.org
Fri Oct 22 12:52:36 EEST 2021

#9466: FFmpeg documentation saying libx265 is GPLv2 or later, libx265 is GPLv2
             Reporter:  Josef        |                    Owner:  (none)
  Andersson                          |
                 Type:  license      |                   Status:  new
  violation                          |                Component:
             Priority:  normal       |  documentation
              Version:  unspecified  |               Resolution:
             Keywords:               |               Blocked By:
             Blocking:               |  Reproduced by developer:  0
Analyzed by developer:  0            |
Comment (by Balling):

 Again, you cannot be serious, this is not derivative work, this is
 combined work. I.e. you can link GPL 2.0 stuff to GPL 3.0 stuff, but you
 cannot include code from GPL 2.0 in GPL 3.0 project. What we are using is
 a wrapper, but API interfaces are not copyrightable (technically LGPL that
 we use on that file will not work, so if somebody will sue over that file
 license violations he should lose) so it does not matter.
 It would have been even more obvious were it a header file, but whatever.
 It also uses FFmpeg API, so have to be .c.

 >to belivie that it is possible to create a distribution binary, including
 libx265 and release it under GPLv3

 It is possible.

 There is no '''static''' linking exception though in GPL 2.0 used in x265.
 But in practice, the idea in very vague. Indeed, GPL prohibits static
 linking from non-GPL code to GPL code, but permits dynamic linking from
 non-GPL code to GPL code. In practice in the only case
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galoob_v._Nintendo Court of Appeals ruled
 that derivative work "must incorporate a portion of the copyrighted work
 in some form". Which is not the case with true dynamic linking that thus
 happens on end-user system. Were x265 or x264 to use some ffmpeg
 structures, that would be different. There is strong separation consept.
 Anyway, that would be a problem with Intel Trade Secret code, but we have
 a GPL 2.0 with GPL 3.0.
Ticket URL: <https://trac.ffmpeg.org/ticket/9466#comment:3>
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