GPAC’s Dual Licensing Model
There are both business and legal considerations to take into account when using any open source software.
GPAC comes from the industry. While some open-source projects strive for legitimacy by venturing into the industry, GPAC’s dual-licensing approach reconnects us to our foundational roots. Industry giants from entertainment, video sharing platforms, movie studios, consumer electronics, broadcast encoders, to embedded systems have leveraged GPAC.
GPAC is licensed under the LGPL license of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Copyleft licenses can be challenging for businesses. Unlike the more permissive BSD/MIT licenses, it mandates that users of your product enjoy the same freedoms you received: run, study, copy, and improve.
This license grants freedom for diverse uses, from experimentation and research to personal and commercial applications, as long as you adhere to its stipulations.
Our choice of this license stems from its balance between strong copyleft and permissiveness. While we value copyleft, our mission is to democratize multimedia frameworks and video streaming technologies.
Using GPAC internally? You can do so discreetly. However, we’d love for you to share your innovations with us!
The “Less” in LGPL implies business compatibility, provided the LGPL program is used as a separate module, like a dynamic library. This is why many, including GPAC, VLC, and FFMpeg/Libav, opt for this license. But, be aware of its nuances:
- Publicly acknowledge GPAC usage upon product distribution.
- No restrictions on reverse-engineering in your EULA.
- Familiarize yourself with the accepted open-source community rules. Legal interpretations can vary by jurisdiction. If in doubt, consult a copyright lawyer.
Why Opt for a Commercial License?
If the LGPL doesn’t align with your needs, we offer dual-licensing options. A commercial license might be apt if you:
- Wish to avoid any acknowledgment of GPAC usage.
- Intend to restrict reverse-engineering.
- Seek source code ownership.
- Use GPAC libraries without knowledge of building your GPAC.
- Use GPAC libraries without dynamic linking.
- Prefer not to distribute GPAC’s source code.
- Want to exclude GPAC or its filenames from your product.
- Interface with software that alters the license, like GPL code or commercial code.
For a deeper dive into commercial licensing, there’s a helpful article that’s been published on the Streaming Media site. For licensing and support, please contact Romain Bouqueau at Motion Spell, the exclusive commercial licensor for GPAC.
How Can I Evaluate GPAC?
GPAC offers installers of both the latest stable release and our strongly recommended nightly builds. For those utilizing systems with package managers, such as apt or rpm, GPAC is readily accessible across numerous distributions.
We also offer WebAssembly experimental versions:
- Mono-threaded: http://wasm.gpacvm-ext.enst.fr/ (it depends on the browser, and on the system).
- Threaded: http://wasmth.gpacvm-ext.enst.fr/ (it depends on a web worker, it is faster but more limited in functionality.)
Additionally, GPAC can be compiled on a wide range of platforms, including Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, and various embedded systems like Set-Top Boxes, interactive car radios, T-DMB Digital Radio receivers, and more. Discover more about this process.
Are Patent Fees Included in My Quotation?
No, they aren’t. Customers are tasked with determining the intellectual property fees applicable to their products. Such fees need to be negotiated independently with the respective holding organizations, for instance, MPEG-LA. However, GPAC’s modular design empowers you to deactivate specific code sections, ensuring you’re not burdened with fees for unused features.
Is It Possible to Commercialize Free Software?
Absolutely. GPAC, via Motion Spell, has secured agreements with GPAC contributors and copyright holders to facilitate this. This arrangement grants our industry clientele benefits such as a more accommodating licensing model tailored for business needs.