Licensing FAQ

This post covers some of the licensing questions often asked by customers. More details and more formal language can be found in our License Agreement.


This information is valid for MFormats SDK, MPlatform SDK, as well as other products.


Subscription for updates & support


We supply a 1 year subscription for updates and support with both the Single Developer and Team licenses. When your subscription is valid:


  • you have access to the latest version of the licensed software;
  • we provide development support and do our best to resolve technical issues (bugs).


Renewing your subscription is optional. However, we highly recommend doing this to make sure that you are always deploying the latest version. Also, we provide the following renewal discounts:


  • within 3 months from subscription expiration date: 50% discount from the full license price;
  • within 1 year from subscription expiration date: 25% discount from the full license price.


Once in a while, we will send you an email when there's a new version of the licensed product available. Also, we will send a few notifications before and after your subscription expires.


License delivery and validity


After purchasing the license you will receive a set of license files and activation instructions. Delivery is made via email.


Our deployment license is perpetual - the product will never stop working if you deploy the license files correctly and work with versions released during the validity of your subscription period. 


For example, you have licensed our product on February 1, 2014. Until February 1, 2015 you can download new versions of the licensed product from our web site, and it will never stop working. However, if you try deploying a version released on February 15th, 2015 - it will not work with your existing license files unless you renew your subscription and receive new license files from us. 


Please make sure that you use the correct type of license files when shipping your product to customers or deploying it in production. Here's a detailed post that explains license types and redistribution guidelines.


Single Developer and Team licenses


Our licenses allow for the products to be used by either one developer (Single Developer license) or up to 4 developers (Team license). We don't limit the number of executable applications or the number of deployed or redistributed copies.


You can upgrade to a Team license from a Single Developer license at any time if your project demands more developers as it progresses. 


It is important to understand that this license - either in full or partially (such as redistribution right only) - cannot be transferred to a third party. If you are making custom development for a third party, this third party should acquire a valid license if it wishes to redistribute the product.


What is a third-party OEM license?


Whenever you wish to re-distribute or deploy our product via a third-party (such as a distributer in a foreign country), our license requires that you consider, whether this is subject to section 3.9 of the End User License Agreement:


3.10. You may distribute your application via a third party under an OEM agreement or third party brand only with a separate commercial license from Medialooks (please contact us at sales@medialooks.com to obtain this license).


The key factor here is whether or not this redisribution involves using another brand: if this is the case, a separate OEM third party redistribution license is required. Please consult with us on all such or similar cases.


Can I have add-on subscriptions expiring at a differnt date?


Yes, our License does not prohibit that. However, we don't usually allow this to happen as some of the features or components may not work (that is, for technical reasons, they require a newever version of the basic component). Please consult with our sales or support on all similar cases.


Section 5.2 of the End User License Agreement makes an exception with regards to this:


We do not guarantee that the various parts of our Products will work together if the parts are from different Product releases.


The use of FFmpeg


Some of our products make use of the open source FFmpeg library. We have this covered in detail in a separate post on using FFmpeg in commercial software.


Royalty-free license


When we say, that our product is "royalty-free", it only means that there are no royalties due to Medialooks. However, some of our products, notably Decoder lib, Encoder lib and the Multi-Format Source DirectShow filter may be subject to royalties or other licensing fees to third parties (technology patent holders). The applicability of the licensing requirements may be defined by the following parameters:


  • your country of residence or area where you do business;
  • annual distribution volume of your application or product;
  • source of enumeration (the way your product generates revenue).


The patent pool for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC codecs is managed by MPEG LA. The x264 implementation is managed by  this company.


Upgrading to a Professional/Expert version


Some of our products are available in Standard/Startup as well as Professional and/or Expert editions. It is possible to upgrade to a Professional/Expert version at any point. With the upgrade you will receive a support subscription for 12 months. The price of upgrade will be calculated via the upgrade formula, taking into account the elapsed months of support subscription at the time of the upgrade. So the price of upgrade depends on whether you have an active support subscription and how much of it has been used up.


Here are some examples of upgrade from MFormats SDK Startup edition ($899) to Professional ($1799):


  • Upgrading 6 months after purchase or subscription renewal (6 months of subscription left): $1124.75 
  • Upgrading 8 months after purchase or subscription renewal (4 months of subscription left): $1199.7
  • Upgrading 1 year after purchase or subscription renewal (support subscription has just elapsed, 50% discount on support subscription still valid): $1349.5
  • Upgrading 1 year since your support subscripion has expired (no discount on support subscription): $1799.0


The same approach is applied to upgrades from Single Developer to Team licenses or from Character Generator DirectShow filter without the Flash Overlay option to Character Generator DirectShow filter with Flash Overlays.