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View Full Version : Anyone here know about the GNU Lesser Public License?



Davros
11-12-2002, 05:33 PM
Anyone here know about the GNU Lesser Public License? http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html

I want to apply the LGPL to some of my (library) work, but despite pouring over it for over an hour, I'm still confused. I want others to use my work for commercial/proprietry applications. The agreement seems to make sense, except for:

"6. As an exception to the Sections above, you may also combine or link a "work that uses the Library" with the Library to produce a work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification of the work for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications. "

This seems to be saying that in order for an application to use my work, the owner must (effectively) provide the source of their own application, so that user may modify it. This would be unacceptable in most proprietry applications.

The LGPL can't mean to say that? If so, I see few reasons for anyone to use LGPL over GPL.

Can anyone help to clear this up for me?

tgm
11-12-2002, 05:46 PM
I prefer the BSD license or MIT license.

Here is a list of alternatives to the GPL:
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/

ggs
11-12-2002, 07:09 PM
It's sometimes nice to dodge all the license **** and just go with "public domain". Old and good.

Imperito
11-12-2002, 07:18 PM
Old, but not good. Not if you want to be able to steer your work. Public domain allows people to take, modify, and privatize the modifications of, your code, as well as strongarm others into not being able to do the same if they are successful.

The pure GPL is the best theoretically, but if you want people to be able to use your software for proprietary source applications you will need the LGPL or some other OSI license.

The modification / reverse engineering clause of the LGPL is not about requiring open source. It basically means that the company cannot say "Here is our product, and you can only use it in a manner consistant with the labelling. Any use of it beyond what we tell you its uses are is forbidden." Such clauses are, unfortunately, all too common in proprietary source software. The LGPL prevents such a clause from being affixed to any product linked against an LGPL'ed library.

moi
11-12-2002, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Davros
"6. As an exception to the Sections above, you may also combine or link a "work that uses the Library" with the Library to produce a work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification of the work for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications. "

This seems to be saying that in order for an application to use my work, the owner must (effectively) provide the source of their own application, so that user may modify it. This would be unacceptable in most proprietry applications.


not quite; read it again. if they make modifications to your library or integrate it with their program then they must release source. if they just use the library as is, they dont have to.

Davros
11-13-2002, 04:33 AM
Thanks for the replies.

>not quite; read it again.

OK. Done that. In the end, it comes down to what is refered to by the term 'The Work'. Is this my library, or it the application which uses the library?

>if they just use the library as is, they dont have to.

I can't see that. Or at least it isn't clear. But this would be what I want.