There are both business and legal considerations.
GPAC comes from the industry. Open-source projects sometimes try to get legitimaty by getting into the industry field but GPAC Licensing finally connects us to our roots! You can read more about the project history in the About Us page.
According to SourceForge, our open-source host, the GPAC pages have been hit over 3 300 000 times during the last year. That’s the result of a long-run innovation leadership.
GPAC has already been used by the biggest and most successful companies in the entertainment field, video sharing websites, movie studios, consumer electronics, broadcast encoders, embedded systems, etc.
We have a worldwide recognized experience on the broadcast and rich-media technologies. You’ll find our names on many standards, academic papers, W3C mailing-lists, awards.
GPAC is licensed under the LGPL license of the Free Software Foundation. The GPL-like licenses are known to be business unfriendly. Contrary to permissive BSD/MIT licenses, it asserts you must provide your product users with the same fundamental freedoms you were given: run, study, copy, improve.
If you plan to give GPAC a try and use it internally, you can keep using GPAC without telling anybody. However we encourage you to share your work with us!
The LGPL (the first ‘L’ standing for “Less”) is said to be compatible with a business use as long as you use the LGPL program into a separate module (e.g. dynamic library). It indeed allows a wider distribution and that’s why many programs, including GPAC, VLC, or FFMpeg/Libav, have chosen this license. However the LGPL license has some subtleties:
- You must publicly say you use GPAC every time you distribute your product.
- You cannot forbid reverse-engineering on your EULA.
- Here is a more complete compliance list of the accepted rules in the open-source community. Laws may be different depending on your jurisdiction. This list does not oblige you but we advise you to consult a copyright lawyer if you wish not to follow it.