With this zip file, it contains both the metaflac.exe and flac.exe that I would like to bundle with software that I intend to sell.

The license is here. https://xiph.org/flac/license.html

I'm unclear here as it says refers to the libraries as free for all. And the remaining software under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

I take it that those two are under the GNU licence.

If anyone has had experience before with the metaflac.exe and flac.exe licence that would be great.


The document you link notes that

The reference implementation libraries are licensed under the New BSD License ... In the source code these libraries are called libFLAC and libFLAC++.

So not quite "free for all", but certainly permissively licensed. However, it also makes clear that the files you list aren't the libraries. So yes, the executables you wish to extract are GPL-licensed.

  • Thanks for your answer. What do you mean not "free for all"? In other words, it's okay to bundle those? Judging by a quote taken from Wikipedia GPL-licensed works (e.g. software), may charge a fee for copies or give them free of charge. So I assume that's okay to do so?
    – Ste
    Jun 14 at 15:01
  • 2
    I mean that the two libraries aren't "free for all" (that not being a recognised licence) but are available under a permissive licence, namely new BSD. The executables you list are available under GPL, which means it's OK to bundle them, but you will have obligations including but not limited to licence reproduction and clear labelling. Depending on how your software uses them, you may have considerably more obligations.
    – MadHatter
    Jun 14 at 15:18
  • Thanks for that. I assume that as long as I keep the relevant licence file bundled with them then it shouldn't be a problem?
    – Ste
    Jun 14 at 18:44
  • That will certainly satisfy the obligation to include a copy of the licence. You should read GPLv3 s4 to see what other obligations you have. You may have other obligations in addition, but you've not told us enough about how you use those executables for us to offer an opinion on that.
    – MadHatter
    Jun 14 at 18:56
  • I've added the usage for both executables in the question.
    – Ste
    Jun 14 at 19:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.