Under which license is sfeMovie distributed?

sfeMovie is covered by the LGPL v2.1 license. You can download the sources from the official Git repository.

Basically, this means you can use sfeMovie for ANY project without ANY restriction as long as sfeMovie is dynamically linked to your software, except as far as codec patents are concerned (see below). The provided binaries are dynamic libraries only. If you want to know more about LGPL, have a look at the GNU website.

What about patents?

As you may know, patents on video codecs is a complex issue. FFmpeg is distributed under LGPL and does not provide any binary version of the library. This is to avoid legal issues: decoders' source code can be freely distributed, but not binaries. Moreover patents do not apply in some countries, which is why VideoLAN doesn't pay any fee to distribute VLC. For the same reasons as VLC, I am able to provide binaries with all the native decoders.

Note that you shouldn't worry about licenses and royalties if you're a lonely developer working on a private project, or if you live in the E.U.. But if you plan to distribute your product to "a lot" of people, or as a commercial purpose, you should be careful. Considering this, you're responsible for checking the possible fees and licenses you may need, depending on your country, needs and situation. If the provided builds with all or only the free decoders don't fit your needs, you'll need to rebuild sfeMovie and select the decoders you want to have supported.

Here is a little unofficial sum up of the different fees for the main decoders. The information I'm showing here is the one I got from the different patents holders or the Internet.

Audio decoder Royalties Source
AAC US $0.98 per unit for the first 500,000 units then a lower price per unit. Via Licensing
FLAC free for any use flac
MP3 maximum between US $15,000 and US $0.75 per unit, or US $2,500 per title for games mp3licensing.com
PCM free for any use DigitalPreservation
Vorbis free for any use Vorbis
WMA free for any use on Windows, US $0.10 to US $0.20 per unit + US $400,000 to US $800,000 per year for other OSs Microsoft (PDF)
Video decoder Royalties Source
H.264 (MPEG4 AVC) free under 100,000 units per year (license still required), then US $0.20 per unit after first 100,000 units per year MPEG LA (PDF)
MPEG4 free under 50,000 units per year (license still required), then US $0.25 per unit after first 50,000 units per year MPEG LA (PowerPoint)
Theora free for any use Theora
VP8 free for any use WebM
WMV free for any use on Windows, US $0.10 per unit + US $400,000 per year for other OSs Microsoft (PDF)