Introduction to the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)
The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) is a widely used open-source software license. It was created by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and is intended to give developers the freedom to use, modify, and distribute software.
One of the main goals of the LGPL is to allow developers to create and distribute software that can be linked with proprietary software. This means that developers can create libraries or frameworks that can be used by both open-source and proprietary projects.
Key Features of the LGPL
The LGPL has several key features that make it an attractive choice for open-source developers:
- Compatibility: The LGPL is compatible with a wide range of licenses, including the GNU General Public License (GPL). This means that LGPL-licensed software can be combined with GPL-licensed software.
- Linking: The LGPL allows software to be linked with both open-source and proprietary software. This is a major advantage for developers who want to create libraries or frameworks that can be used in a variety of projects.
- Modified Versions: The LGPL allows developers to modify the licensed software and distribute the modified versions. However, any modifications to the LGPL-licensed code must be made available under the same LGPL license.
FAQs about the LGPL
What is the difference between the LGPL and the GPL?
The main difference between the LGPL and the GPL is the way they handle linking. The GPL requires that any software linked with GPL-licensed code must also be licensed under the GPL. On the other hand, the LGPL allows software to be linked with LGPL-licensed code without requiring the software to be licensed under the LGPL.
Can I use LGPL-licensed software in a proprietary project?
Yes, you can use LGPL-licensed software in a proprietary project. The LGPL allows software to be linked with both open-source and proprietary software, so you can incorporate LGPL-licensed libraries or frameworks into your proprietary project.
Do I have to release the source code of my project if I use LGPL-licensed libraries?
No, you do not have to release the source code of your project if you use LGPL-licensed libraries. The LGPL allows you to use the libraries without requiring your project to be licensed under the LGPL. However, if you make any modifications to the LGPL-licensed code, you must make those modifications available under the LGPL.
Can I sell software that is licensed under the LGPL?
Yes, you can sell software that is licensed under the LGPL. The LGPL does not restrict you from selling software that uses LGPL-licensed code. However, if you distribute the software, you must provide the recipient with the source code of the LGPL-licensed code.