Lesser General Public License Explained

Lesser General Public License Explained

According to abbreviationfinder.org, Lesser General Public License is abbreviated as LGPL.

The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share or change it. In contrast, the GNU General Public Licenses are intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software; to ensure that the software is free for all users. This license, the General Public License Minor (Lesser General Public License), applies to some specially designed software packages – typically bookshops of the Free Software Foundation and from other authors who decide to use it. You can use it too, but we suggest that you first think carefully about whether or not this license, or the ordinary General Public License, is the best strategy to use in a particular case, based on the explanations below.

When we talk about free software, we mean freedom of use, not price. The General Public Licenses are designed to ensure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish); that you receive the source code or that you can get it if you want it; that you can modify the software and use parts of it in new free programs; and that you have been informed that you can do these things.

To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that prohibit distributors from denying you these rights or asking you to waive those rights. These restrictions translate into certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the library or if you modify it.

For example, if you distribute copies of the library, either free or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that we gave you. You must ensure that they, too, receive or can obtain the source code. If you link other code to the library, you must provide the receivers with the complete object files, so that they can re-link them to the library after making changes to the library and recompiling it. And you need to show them these terms so they know their rights.

We protect your rights with a two-step method: (1) we obtain the copyright from the library, and (2) we offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute, and / or modify the library.

To protect each of the distributors, we want to make it very clear that there is no guarantee for the free library. Furthermore, if the library is modified by someone and broadcast, the recipients should know that what they have is not the original version, so that the reputation of the original author is not affected by problems that could be introduced by others.

Finally, software patents pose a constant threat to the existence of any free program. We want to ensure that a company cannot effectively limit the users of a free program by obtaining a restrictive license from a patent holder. Therefore, we insist that any patent license obtained for a version of the library must be consistent with all the freedoms of use specified in this license.

Most GNU software, including some libraries, is covered by the ordinary GNU General Public License. This license, the GNU Lesser General Public License, applies to certain designated libraries and is quite different from the ordinary General Public License. We use this license for certain libraries in order to allow linking of those libraries within non-free programs.

When a program is linked to a library, either statically or using a shared library, the combination of the two is, legally speaking, a combined work, a derivative of the original library. The ordinary General Public License would allow such a link only if the entire combination meets its criteria for freedom. The Lesser General Public License allows a more lax criterion for linking other code with the library.

We call this license the “Lesser” General Public License because it does less than the ordinary General Public License to protect user freedoms. It also provides developers of free programs Fewer advantages over competing non-free programs. These disadvantages are the reason why we use the ordinary General Public License for most libraries. However, the Minor license provides advantages in certain special circumstances.

For example, on rare occasions there may be a special need to promote the use of a particular library as widely as possible so that it becomes a standard. To achieve this, non-free programs must be allowed to use these libraries. A more frequent case is one in which a free library does the same job as that of the more widely used non-free libraries. In this case, there is little to be gained by limiting the library to free software only, so we use the Lesser General Public License.

In other cases, permission to use a particular library in non-free programs enables a greater number of people to use a large amount of free software. For example, permission to use the GNU C library in non-free programs enables many more people to fully use the GNU operating system, as well as its variant, the GNU / LINUX operating system.

Although the Lesser General Public License is less protective of user freedoms, it ensures that the user of a program that is linked to the library has the freedom and means to run that program using a modified version of the library.

The exact terms and conditions for copying, distribution, and modification are listed below. Pay particular attention to the difference between a “library-based job” and a “library-based job.” The former contains code derived from the library, while the latter must be linked to the library to be executed.

Lesser General Public License

How to apply these terms to your new bookstores

If you develop a new library, and want it to be of the greatest possible use to the public, we recommend that you make it free software so that everyone can redistribute or combine it. You can do so by allowing redistribution under these terms (or, alternatively, under the terms of the ordinary General Public License). To apply these terms add the following note to the library. It is more prudent to add the notices at the beginning of each source file to more effectively convey the warranty exclusion; and each file should have at least the copyright line and a pointer to where the full notice is located.

Copyright ©

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and / or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your opinion) any later version. This library is distributed in the hope that it will be usefull, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, Ma 02111-1307 USA. Also add information on how to contact you by email and post. You should also include your job (if you work as a programmer) or your studies, if you have any, to sign a “copyright waiver” for the bookstore, if necessary. Here we have an example; alter the names:

Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the library ‘Frob’ (a library for tweaking knobs) written by James Random Hacker. signature of Ty Coon, April 1, 1990 Ty Coon, President of Vice