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Why not also LGPL?
User: Anthony Martinez
Date: 5/31/2008 1:18 pm
Views: 6430
Rating: 27


Congratulations for your project :)

My question is simple, why not use also LGPL?

If we could put this module in a commercial software, using LGPL would be mandatory to commit any modifications to the source code (that would bring more coders and investment into this module).

This would be fair for the community, it would bring more people and more investment, and wouldn't be anti-enterprise. Would be the best of both worlds.

Not all enterprises are evil. There are good enterprises that bring innovation, create jobs, pay taxes and make a good contribution to the world. The problem is when those companies become too greedy to share any innovation. Thats why LGPL is so nice.

Think about it :)




Re: Why not also LGPL?
User: kmaclean
Date: 6/1/2008 11:21 am
Views: 334
Rating: 34

Hi Anthony,

I think this section of the page Why you shouldn't use the Lesser GPL for your next library on the site explains it quite well (my emphasis added):

Using the ordinary GPL is not advantageous for every library. There are reasons that can make it better to use the Lesser GPL in certain cases. The most common case is when a free library's features are readily available for proprietary software through other alternative libraries. In that case, the library cannot give free software any particular advantage, so it is better to use the Lesser GPL for that library.

This is why we used the Lesser GPL for the GNU C library. After all, there are plenty of other C libraries; using the GPL for ours would have driven proprietary software developers to use another—no problem for them, only for us.

However, when a library provides a significant unique capability, like GNU Readline, that's a horse of a different color. The Readline library implements input editing and history for interactive programs, and that's a facility not generally available elsewhere. Releasing it under the GPL and limiting its use to free programs gives our community a real boost. At least one application program is free software today specifically because that was necessary for using Readline.

If we amass a collection of powerful GPL-covered libraries that have no parallel available to proprietary software, they will provide a range of useful modules to serve as building blocks in new free programs. This will be a significant advantage for further free software development, and some projects will decide to make software free in order to use these libraries. ...