FFMPEG is under GPL and there might be issues where a GPL-incompatible program uses it in some ways.

Proprietary codecs like DivX however aren't the option because then I cannot manipulate the format and use royalty free freeware open source converters which I'll need for my own recording purposes via my own devices and video making software.

So which codec isn't from anything from above, but is popular and well played on Windows, Linux, Raspbian and Android (at least in the browser)?

  • FFmpeg is LGPL unless you configure it with --enable-gpl, --enable-version3 or --enable-proprietary options.
    – Vi.
    May 28, 2015 at 12:58
  • Please don't spread nonsense FUD like "Viral licenses are scary. They're all sue-happy". It's not relevant to your question and it's plain wrong.
    – nanny
    Aug 25, 2015 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


Most of FFMPEG code is LGPL or "better" - you can build libraries with GPL or LGPL depending of features used.

Take a look at OpenH264 licensing: http://www.openh264.org/faq.html


I believe the vp8 and vp9 video formats owned by google are truly free to use. They are the best video formats at this time that are not encumbered by licensing (GPL or commercial royalties). There are others such as ogg/Theora, although these are older and generally not as well compressed.

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