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Re: Licensing a work using a GPL-ed library under the LGPL



On Sun, 02 Sep 2007 18:50:06 +1000 Ben Finney wrote:

> Shriramana Sharma <samjnaa@gmail.com> writes:
[...]
> > But I don't understand what is the meaning of licensing something
> > under the LGPL if it is effectively under the GPL anyway because it
> > uses a GPL-ed library.
> 
> Because it also allows linking with works that are *not* under LGPL.
> 
> > So what is the point in licensing it under the LGPL?
> 
> If you want to allow the library to be linked with non-free software.

I think you mean that, once you replace the GPL-ed library with
something else that allows doing so, you can link the LGPL-ed library
with non-free software.
If you mean this, it makes sense to me.

In the KDE+Qt example, the recipient is allowed to port the KDE library
to a toolkit other than Qt.  If the chosen toolkit is licensed under a
more permissive license than the GPL (e.g.: LGPL, Expat, 3-clause BSD,
X11, ...), then anyone can link KDE+permissivetoolkit with non-free
software.


P.S.: All this reasoning is based on the FSF's legal theory of linking,
which has been questioned by some people and has never been tested in
court so far.  Hence we do not actually know for sure whether that
theory would hold water in a court; however, to be on the safe side,
we'd better assume that it is indeed correct.

Disclaimers: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.


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