Use of LGPL images in proprietary software?

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Oct 5 14:50:42 UTC 2009

Mala Dibbs scripsit:

> i found an icon set licensed with LGPL which I would like to use in
> proprietary (and potentially commercial) software.
> 1. Can I use the images at all?

Yes, you can.

> 2. Can they be embedded in binary files (e.g. statically linked into
> the executable) or do they need to be accessible for the user?

They need to be readily replaceable by the user.  This does not mean
that if the user replaces them with unsuitable images (wrong format,
wrong size, whatever) that your program has to still work.  It means
that if a new version of the images becomes available, the user can
easily plug them into your software.

So either you need to ship an editor that can modify your executables, or
you need to make them separate, perhaps as separate files or in a zipfile.

> 3. Can I modify them?

Yes, certainly.

> 4. Am I right, that modified versions will be LGPL again and that I need
> to ship a License text with the Images (regardless of modifications)?


> 5. Is it correct, that the software itsself does not need to be open
> source or free software if I use these images?

That is correct.

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice; however, it is not the
unauthorized practice of law, either.

Not to perambulate                 John Cowan <cowan at>
    the corridors        
during the hours of repose
    in the boots of ascension.       --Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel

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