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OpenCV Free for Commercial use

asked 2015-10-21 13:22:12 -0500

AndyAces gravatar image

I am sorry if this has been asked a million times before but I have read OpenCv is free to use for commercial use but then in the files there are cascades that ask you to contact various people if using commercially. Is there a definitive answer which i can then quote/use.

I am brand new and completing my first indie project, want to keep cost to a minimum because may never see any income (hope not) but at the same time I don't want to use something without permission.

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answered 2015-10-22 03:06:47 -0500

berak gravatar image

updated 2015-10-22 03:18:26 -0500

opencv code is mit-licensed, thus free to use in a commercial app, there are 2 exceptions i know of:

  • SURF & SIFT: patented, thus non-free (but you can try to get a license from the authors)
  • the mcs_* * xml cascades, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License, meaning, you must not use them for any commercial purpose.

(if anyone finds more, please append !)

For SURF --> it is noncommercial licensed:

For SIFT --> As discussed here the SIFT patent is a US patent and it does not have a EU counterpart so in Europe you can use it without any hesitation.

Current standing patents:

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So it might be a good idea to look into other techniques like BRISK, ORB, DAISY, which are for the moment not patented anywhere!

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2015-10-22 03:20:21 -0500 )edit

Thanks for the answers, really appreciated, we are currently using one cascade which is not in the openCV package and we have emailed the creator to find out what we have to pay to license it. Hopefully not too much.

AndyAces gravatar imageAndyAces ( 2015-10-22 07:53:02 -0500 )edit

Can you provide a link to the cascade you are using? We might be able to take a look. As such, if someone places a cascade online AND he does not combine it with a license file or a license included into the model, then he can basically not ask you licensing costs for it!

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2015-10-22 07:55:08 -0500 )edit The mouth cascade by Modesto on this page << and the other one we are using is the smile cascade which is in the opencv download. Thanks again for your help.

AndyAces gravatar imageAndyAces ( 2015-10-22 11:05:04 -0500 )edit

So the site itself says Some of the classifiers have a special license - please, look into the files for details. and if you click on Conditions of use you can see that the mouth license is basically saying that you should first keep the same license in there AND make sure that if you make a commercial product that you obtain written consent for using it. So I would contact the IUSIANI research group at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain to know for sure.

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2015-10-22 13:03:17 -0500 )edit

The smile one is actually from the same group. So go ahead and contact the author and see what he says! --> then click raw and you will see it :D

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2015-10-22 13:05:18 -0500 )edit

I've seen the mcs_**.xml cascades have been removed from 3.0.0 sources. Do you know if it is due to those licence terms?

LorenaGdL gravatar imageLorenaGdL ( 2015-10-23 03:09:40 -0500 )edit

@LorenaGdL , i guess so. they were moved to opencv_contrib/face/data

berak gravatar imageberak ( 2015-10-23 03:11:04 -0500 )edit
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Asked: 2015-10-21 13:22:12 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 22 '15