On 29 Jan 2002, Rich Wareham wrote:
Oh dear! I just had my first look at mplayer,and it looks like you are
neither allowed to compile it, nor allowed to use it nor should you expect
any kind of support.
Actually their "license agreement", if you can call it that, is full of
contradictions: First of all, there is no global mplayer license, or at
least I was unable to find it. There are, however lots of license hints in
most of the source files, most of which are GPL. So if there is any
possibility to have a legal mplayer binary, it must be GPL. My guess is,
there is no such thing, though...
> <begin quote>
> 1. Xine took our subtitle parser (just grep for egysub in Xine's and
> MPlayer's sources if you don't believe...)
Hmmm, I'm not sure about that. The subtitle parser says that it's "based
on" MPlayer sources, and I guess only the author can enlighten us whether
this means it's copy-paste-change, or rather somebody having looked at the
MPlayer sources and rewritten the stuff for xine. G=FCnter?
> 2. We are not GPL.
Well, most of MPlayer _is_ GPL (including almost all audio and video
decoders). The AVI subtitle decoder doesn't have any hint on it's license,
so you can only conclude from it being linked to MPlayer, that it has to
be GPL, or that there is no legal license for MPlayer at all...
> 3. Xine is distributed under the GPL. (!)
> 4. Xine team distributes binaries which contain non-GPL code, and thus
> is illegal...
Wrong. We haven't distributed any binaries for quite some time now. IIRC,
we even switched to source-only long before G=FCnter added libsputext.
> <end quote>
> Firstly, has this chap moaned to anyone on the project about this?
Hmmm, not to me. And not on one of the lists.
> Well you could grep for the egysub bit or you could read the 'based on
> code from mplayer' bit at the top of our
> src/src/libsputext/xine_decoder.c :). Now for my (actual) question.
> What license is this bit of MPlayer under? I just downloaded the source
> and couldn't find an obvious LICENSE or COPYING file. Even the Docs
> don't have anything obvious in them. The corresponding source file also
> doesn't say 'this file is part of Mplayer and is covered by the XYZ
> license' (which makes any licensing claim dubious).
Yup, that's more or less it. So I'm afraid we have to assume the
worst: AIUI, if there is no license shipped with any piece of text,
Copyright assures that the author has the right to claim any license they
> The reason I'm posting here is because I'd suspect I might illicit a
> flame-war if I posted to MPlayer.
May be true, though I don't know their mailing lists...
> (and yes I did RTFM and just for good measure grep'ed the source for
> license, GPL, etc)
Which I did, as well.
If we don't have anything that _proves_ we're allowed to use the parts of
MPlayer sources that can be found in libsputext, we should probably drop
that auntil someone does a free rewrite. Sad thing...