[Techtalk] Need a software licensing expert

Brenda Bell k15a-list-linuxchix at theotherbell.com
Sat Oct 25 10:25:48 EST 2003

Quoting TechChiq <techchiq at hotpop.com>:

> I knew of GPL, of course, but I am not familiar with LGPL? What's that
> and how does it differ from normal GPL?

The biggest difference is that it's easier to use LGPL'd software in
commercial programs.  GPL says that combined works must adhere to GPL
criteria... e.g., if you use my GPL'd date control in your software, your
software must be GPL'd as well.  If my date control is LGPL'd, you could
use it in a commercial product without having to distribute the source code
for your product.  You would still have to distribute the LGPL license for
my date control and make my source code available along with any
modifications you made to it.

> As for free stuff, I don't know if it matters. Even commerical,
> actually. Look at how many times other companies and people change
> licenses on a product and expect people to just magially "know" (ie. M$
> for instance).

There are lots of subtle issues with free software.  However, I was able to
find information that says I, as the sole copyright holder, can change the
license whenever I want.  Also, since LGPL would not revoke any existing
GPL rights, I wouldn't be causing any grief for existing applications using
the software under the original GPL license -- this was really my biggest
concern... I didn't want to make a contribution and then take it back :)


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