Question about licencing

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Question about licencing

Henry Rooney
Hi All, this is a scenario that I want to cover off.

I wirk for Microsoft and we have used ffmpeg with out speech to text
service to demonstrate the cognitive services in Azure.

This demo is designed to show customers what is possible in our voice to
text service, but is not to be used for production workloads.  We use
ffmpeg to shard the audio file into small chunks to train the service.

Also we wanto the demo to be freely available and will check it into Git.

Questions I have.

Can we use ffmpeg for our demo without breaching any licence.

What documentation do I need to include on Git to ensure that users are
aware that they are using FFMPEG and need to adhere to the licencing of
that product.

Is there anything else we need to do to ensure that we adhere to the usage
guidelines.

Regards

Henry
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Re: Question about licencing

kumowoon1025
Hi,

> Can we use ffmpeg for our demo without breaching any licence.
>
> What documentation do I need to include on Git to ensure that users are
> aware that they are using FFMPEG and need to adhere to the licencing of
> that product.
>
> Is there anything else we need to do to ensure that we adhere to the usage
> guidelines.

It depends on the license. Depending on the configuration, an ffmpeg build might not be redistributable at all in the first place.

If the demo uses the command line executables, run  ffmpeg -L  to check which license applies (if any) to that specific build.
For the static/dynamic libraries, I think they are necessarily distributed with the license text, or the api for each has av*_license() that will tell you which license you are granted.

I don't know how you are using FFmpeg, but just a reminder that GPL is very copyleft, and could possibly stipulate that you open source more than what's in the demo.
If you used other 3rd party libraries/components, you would need to comply with any accompanying license, which may not be compatible with the one for FFmpeg.

These are just a few things to think about regarding software licenses in general, there are definitely other aspects to consider. I don't know how big this project is, but you may want to consult legal if it's real big profile, as I append the obligatory disclaimer that I am not a lawyer and have not given any legal advice in this email, of which no part should be regarded as legal advice by anyone.

Regards,
Ted Park

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Re: Question about licencing

Carl Eugen Hoyos-2
In reply to this post by Henry Rooney


> Am 01.06.2020 um 05:16 schrieb Henry Rooney <[hidden email]>:


> Questions I have.
>
> Can we use ffmpeg for our demo without breaching any licence.

Disclaimer 1: I am not an intellectual-property lawyer, actually no lawyer at all. To the best of my knowledge no IP lawyer posts on this mailing list. We expect many half-professional users to ask their IP-related questions their IP lawyers, I would have expected that you have access to a few of them.

Disclaimer 2: I am not a native speaker but I consider the word “demo” very unclear, even with your additional explanation.

Disclaimer 3: Nobody can answer your question about „any license“, we can try to answer some FFmpeg-related questions.

Your question above is about “usage” of FFmpeg and I can imagine many demos that only “use” FFmpeg. The license terms of FFmpeg do not limit usage, except for a no-warranty clause that you have to accept: You don’t have to tell us that you accept the clause but if you don’t accept it you cannot legally use FFmpeg.

What is limited by the license terms is the distribution of FFmpeg. If you are distributing binaries based on FFmpeg source code restrictions apply, read the GPL and/or the LGPL and please note that I would expect your employer to heavily restrict the distribution of multimedia binaries based on (L)GPL source code.

> What documentation do I need to include on Git to ensure that users are
> aware that they are using FFMPEG and need to adhere to the licencing of
> that product.

Yes, if you distribute binaries based on LGPL‘d source code, you have tell your users that they install software under LGPL, you have to provide the license file and the source code (and you have to support relinking and you must not forbid reverse engineering). How you tell them is your decision.
If the GPL applies, allowing re-linking is not enough, the complete source code has to be provided.

Carl Eugen
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