[Vorbis] LibVorbis licensing inquiry

Joshua Root josh+xiph at root.id.au
Mon Dec 1 15:43:32 PST 2014

If you want a definitive answer, you'll have to ask a lawyer (sadly).

My layman's understanding is that the license means that anyone who
distributes any part of libogg or libvorbis must include the copyright
notices and license text when they do so. That's all. It doesn't matter
who is doing the distributing, you or your users or anyone else, they
all have to follow that one simple rule to avoid copyright infringement.
Anyone who is not distributing the code covered by the license is not
affected by the license at all.

I don't think any country's copyright laws are crazy enough yet to make
you liable for your customers' infringement simply because they got the
code from you (but I could be wrong...). That would be like holding a
record store responsible when someone who bought a CD from them burns
copies of it to give to their friends.

- Josh

On 2014-12-2 09:49 , Jordan Verner wrote:
> I'm sorry, but I'm still unclear as to how this affects my end users
> (those who create games using my library) and the manner in which they
> license their own works. I felt it was smarter to ask than to make
> assumptions and risk being asked to pull my work due to license
> violations on the part of an end user of mine.
> Kind regards,
> Jordan.
>> Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2014 09:25:20 +1100
>> From: josh+xiph at root.id.au
>> To: jv_erner at hotmail.com
>> CC: vorbis at xiph.org
>> Subject: Re: [Vorbis] LibVorbis licensing inquiry
>> On 2014-12-2 07:13 , Jordan Verner wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> > I am developing a game engine which will support Ogg Vorbis playback.
>> > If I were to use LibOgg and LibVorbis, would I then have to release my
>> > own product under BSD, thus requiring anyone who created games with it
>> > to do the same and reference Xiph.org in their game's credits?
>> > While I can definitely include a license file with my library, enforcing
>> > my own end-users to do the same would be difficult at best and so I'm
>> > wondering if there is a licensing fee or similar which would allow me to
>> > develop software which integrates LibOgg and LibVorbis without having to
>> > pass licensing restrictions on to my end users?
>> > Kind regards,
>> >
>> > Jordan.
>> Maybe you should just read the license terms? They're quite
> straightforward.
>> <http://www.xiph.org/licenses/bsd/>
>> There's nothing in there about making you license your own code a
>> certain way, or having to police license violations by your users.
>> - Josh

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