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I'm developing a video player and can't get a straight answer. VLC on iOS plays Dolby codecs (AC3, EAC3, TrueHD) if the user is not in a US timezone. I didn't check the source code for Android, but it looks like it's the same story. Other video players on iOS either don't support it or bought a license from Dolby.

VLC (and other players) exist on Windows and MacOS and it doesn't look like they have a Dolby license. Converters seem to work the same way.

Do you know exactly what are the rules for using those codecs in apps? Is it different for a free app vs. a paid app? Any info is appreciated.

  • VLC operates from a country where software patents are invalid (France). VLC does not sell anywhere where software patents are valid. It doesn't sell anywhere at all, actually. Since VLC doesn't do business in any country where it might be seen as violating a patent, it is relatively safe from legal repercussions. – Peter Oct 29 '14 at 23:10
  • What about all the desktop video converters out there? Are they fine if they're free? – awfulcode Oct 30 '14 at 22:21
  • The point is not the software being free. The point is that the companies like VLC have no ties to the US (selling software to US customers would create such a tie). In your profile you state your location as NYC, so I guess that you have plenty of ties to the US even if you give software away for free. – Peter Oct 31 '14 at 4:26

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