Allwinner CedarX Media Codec Library GPL/LGPL Compliance Update

Last month, I wrote about potential open source licenses and VP6 copyright infringement by Allwinner with their CedarX media codec library, and then since there’s been a few developments. First, Allwinner sent me an email saying they’ve now updated Cedarx library and referring my previous article. Here’s an extract: Here, I have some update of the Allwinner’s open-source status. We have done a lot of discussion with the developers from the linux-sunxi communication about the software license of CedarX. For each question or requirement asked by the developers, Allwinner has identify and try to give the best solution. Now, we believe Allwinner’s CedarX license is fully compliant and resolves concerns from the community. And you can take the announcement[email protected]/msg10597.html as a reference. Allwinner is always supporting the open-source, and try to do better and better. You can see some update on the github, and some feedback from developers: […]

Allwinner’s New Media Codec Library (CedarX) May Infringe on Open Source Licenses and Copyrights

Allwinner has had to good idea to open allwinner-zh github account last September in order to release source code, binary libraries, and documentation for these ARM processors. Yesterday, the company released a new version of their closed source CedarX library used to decode and encode video streams. But Luc Verhaegen (libv), known for his reverse-engineering work on ARM Mali-400 (lima driver) and now Mali-Txxx GPU (Tamil driver), analyzed the binary and claimed  the library is not compliant with LGPL licenses, and may also infringe on On2 copyrights. Luc wrote his concerns on sunxi-linux mailing list, and Allwinner promised to look into it. Two libraries are involved: ffmpeg which includes both LGPL and GPL licenses, but the contention seems to be about the LGPL part, since only optional features are GPL’ed in ffmpeg. It’s perfectly fine to include LGPL libraries into your binaries, as long as you don’t modify the open source […]

Open Source Licenses Overview: GPL, LGPL, Apache, BSD,…

The great thing about open source code is the large amount of high quality code that is available and many embedded projects use FOSS code as it really speeds up development time. What is not often taken into account are the licenses for the code. Many companies often simply ignore licenses issues and some even go one step further by obfuscating the code to work around dual license issues or to hide the use of a particular open source library. Even though history shows that few companies get sued due to open source license infringements and release of open source code modified in commercial projects often requires the community involvement, open source licenses should still be taken into consideration as the risk still exists. I’ll give an overview of open source licenses in this blog post, as well as recommendation on how to keep your proprietary code closed. Definition of […]