GPL and LGPL question

Bruce Perens bruce at
Tue May 18 22:27:39 UTC 1999

From: "Pat St. Jean" <psj at>
> I've got a program foo.  I want program foo to do bar.  I download a GPL'd
> library quux that does bar.  I incorporate it into my program foo.  By the
> terms of the GPL, foo must now be distributed under the GPL (2b of the
> GPL).  Isn't that in conflict with #3, which says "...must allow them to
> be distributed..."?

Not if you have the right to put foo under the GPL. OSD #3 addresses a
single license, as does the rest of the OSD. You are postulating a conflict
between two licenses - if you had to be assured the right to distribute dispite
any license conflict, you could effectively force any program into the public

> What I'm getting at is that #7 says that one cannot require that an
> additional license be executed between parties.  LGPL clause 3 allows
> anyone, without the consent of the owner of the code, to change the
> licsensing of the code.

The intent here is that when person B re-distributes to person C, person
C need not execute a license with person A because the license that A
conveyed to B automaticaly applies to C as well. I think you are reading that
section as meaning something entirely different than the intent.

> It also seems to violate OSD #3 in that if someone decides to exercise
> LGPL clause 3, they cannot be distributed under the same terms as the
> license of the origional software (LGPL).

"Original software" does not clearly designate my intent, I agree. I think
my reply to Seth should make that clear.



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