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I was wondering if I can use the aac codec in my commercial app for free (through lgpl ffmpeg). It says on the wiki:

No licenses or payments are required to be able to stream or distribute content in AAC format.[36] This reason alone makes AAC a much more attractive format to distribute content than MP3, particularly for streaming content (such as Internet radio). However, a patent license is required for all manufacturers or developers of AAC codecs.> For this reason free and open source software implementations such as FFmpeg and FAAC may be distributed in source form only, in order to avoid patent infringement. (See below under Products that support AAC, Software.)

But the xSplit program had to cancel the AAC for free members because they have to pay royalties per person. Is this true (that you have to pay per each person that uses aac)? If you do have to pay, which company do you pay to and how does one apply?

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Related question (by myself) as reference for others:… – Marc.2377 Feb 3 at 5:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Go to this page and they will set you right up:

AAC Frequently Asked Questions

Who must sign a license?
What products are covered by the license?
What technologies are covered under the AAC patent licensing program?
Are there use fees for AAC?
What is the term of the AAC license?
I am already a licensee of MPEG-4 AAC and HE AAC. How can I take the AAC license?
Besides the license fees, are there any other costs involved?
What is "PC Enabling Software" as presented in the AAC license Fee Schedule?
Who are the licensors participating in the AAC Licensing Program?
How can I obtain a sample license for review?
What do I need to do in order to execute the agreement and obtain a license?
What are the reporting requirements of the AAC Program?
What is meant by a "reset" in the fee schedule?
What is the definition of a "professional" product?
Is there a difference between license fees for multi-channel products and stereo products?
How are products categorized as either stereo products or multi-channel products?
Is there a trial period available for licensed products?
What do I get after signing the AAC patent License Agreement?
Where can I get code or other "know-how" for AAC?

These answers to frequently-asked-questions are provided to explain the licensing program. The terms and conditions governing the license are provided in the license agreement.

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Android apps like TuneIn radio use the FFMPEG decoder and I cannot believe that such a popular app is paying a per download licence fee for that. I note the the BBCs rather nifty iPlayer Radio app uses HLS to deliver the audio directly to the media player. This is how it should be done.

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Use of FFmpeg does not necessarily imply use of its AAC codec. From the FFMpeg LICENSE file: "The nonfree external library libfaac can be hooked up in FFmpeg. You need to pass --enable-nonfree to configure to enable it. Employ this option with care as FFmpeg then becomes nonfree and unredistributable." It is quite possible that TuneIn compiles FFmpeg without the --enable-nonfree option and simply uses other media formats; in that case they would not include any AAC codec in their executable and thus be exempt from licensing fees. – apsillers Jul 26 '13 at 20:38

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