Subject: Re: GPLV3 or LGPL
From: Jeremy Bennett <>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 18:44:36 +0100

On Fri, 2009-08-28 at 10:25 +0200, Ian Vernon wrote:
> Gents and Ladies,
> Perhaps you can help me out with a small hint. We are due to release
> the first version of our product and is stuck with which license to
> use GPLV3 or LGPL. We wanted that the product be used by a wide user
> base and interface with other products and system of which most are
> closed source and prorietary, but we would also like to have some
> level of protection being the originator of the product. For this
> purpose would LGPL more suitable that GPLV3 and what are the main
> differences other than the obvious as written in the license
> conditions.
> Thanks in advance for your assistance
> //Ian

Hi Ian,

Have you seen the FSF's guidance on LGPL versus GPL?

Put very simply, if you license under GPL, then anyone who builds your
software into a larger piece of software (a "derivative work") must
distribute it with the source of of that entire derivative work. If you
license under LGPL, then they must distribute it only with the source of
your part (not the whole derivative work).

So GPL forces anyone who uses your software to also adopt an open source
approach, while LGPL does not.

You may also like to consider the approach taken by Gaisler Research
with the LEON3 processor, which is freely available under GPL. However
you can pay Gaisler a large sum of money for which they will provide a
standard commercial license to exactly the same code, thus relieving you
of the obligation to share your derivative. Gaisler can do this, because
they own the entire rights to the LEON3, so can give different licenses
to different people.


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