Contributor hunt begins as libVLC goes LGPL
The current VLC developers have agreed to relicense libVLC, the engine at the heart of the popular VLC media player, under the LGPLv2. To make this change, the developers are looking for anyone who has contributed to libVLC so that they can approve the change in licence from GPLv2 to LGPLv2. As VideoLAN does not practice copyright assignment, all developers who have contributed will need to agree to the change. So far, forty developers and over 80 per cent of the copyright holders on VLC's core have agreed. Past contributors should contact VideoLAN to express their approval or object; so far no-one has objected.
The change to LGPLv2 was initiated a few months ago and won wider approval at the recent VideoLAN Dev Days. It is designed to allow the VLC core to be used as a multi-platform open-source multimedia engine and library by a wider range of software. LGPL libraries can be incorporated with any other software, including proprietary software, as long as any changes made are published and, where the library is used, the user retains the ability to swap out the LGPL'd library for their own version.
VideoLAN developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf said that the VideoLAN project hopes to have everything in place to make the change for VLC 1.2, though that version does not currently have a release date. He points out that this is the start of a process to relicense more of the internal components of VLC as LGPL, but the GPLv2 licence of the VLC application will not be changed. It is unknown, say the developers, if the change will have any impact on whether VLC is available in the Apple App Store.