Opened 5 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

#65 closed enhancement (invalid)

Ambiguous --enable-non-free option

Reported by: Ceylo Owned by:
Priority: normal Component: undetermined
Version: unspecified Keywords:
Cc: Blocked By:
Blocking: Reproduced by developer: no
Analyzed by developer: no



I've been recently using FFmpeg for a personal project and I built FFmpeg without --enable-nonfree and --without --enable-gpl, thinking that the resulting libraries could be freely used. But I just found out I was wrong.

So the point is.. to me the --enable-nonfree option is ambiguous and I believe that something more explicit should used. From what I understood, this option only enables the use of copyrighted code, and therefore isn't redistributable.

Thus I would suggest something like --enable-nonredistributable rather than the current name.

Change History (1)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by cehoyos

  • Resolution set to invalid
  • Status changed from new to closed


Copyright law is unambiguous in (nearly) every country. If you use --enable-nonfree (and --enable-gpl), you may not re-distribute the resulting binary in any country that implements (common) copyright law.

I assume you worry about patent law. In many countries, algorithms cannot be patented, FFmpeg can therefore not violate any patent law by implementing patented algorithms in these countries.

If you believe patent law affects you, I hate to tell you but it is very unlikely that you will find any (useful) function in FFmpeg that is not covered by any patent (we do not know, we haven't read any patents when implementing FFmpeg, but we have been told that many common multimedia algorithms are patented).

Note that "freely used" is ambiguous: You may use FFmpeg only under the terms of the LGPL (assuming you did neither pass --enable-nonfree nor --enable-gpl to configure), not under any other terms (and therefore probably not "freely").

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