Mention of LGPL/MIT source code in a commercial software


1

My commercial software is using some code source licensed under LGPL or MIT.
How and where should I mention this?
Is it mandatory?

Software License

asked Nov 4 '10 at 21:29
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Tom
23 points
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  • Can you be more specific? Perhaps tell us how you use the source or even tell us which open source code it is? – Tim J 8 years ago
  • Thank you Tim. The open source code is http://sourcegrid.codeplex.com/. I am linking to the dll of the library. – Tom 8 years ago

3 Answers


2

Follow the license of use.

answered Nov 4 '10 at 21:47
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John Bogrand
2,210 points
  • This is not helpful – Tom 8 years ago
  • @Tom - What John is saying is to read the license, understand it and comply. It is the right advice, but it is not spoonfeeding you the answer. – Tim J 8 years ago
  • @Tom: agreed. If he understood the license, he'd not have asked. – Hedge Mage 8 years ago
  • @Tim: When it comes to open source licenses, people from the closed-source world tend to get a bit disoriented at first. A little hand-holding while they get their sea legs isn't out of line. If John isn't in the mood to provide it, he's welcome to skip the question instead of giving a non-answer. – Hedge Mage 8 years ago
  • @Hedge - yes, but the OP didn't provide specifics in how he was using the library(ies) so the best answer is "read the license and apply the relevant sections". If Tom had done that we could give him the exact terms to comply with. And I agree - the open source licenses can be daunting when jumping in. It was a huge distraction for me when I had to figure out if we should bother using open source works. – Tim J 8 years ago
  • @Tom add a link to the lics if you like and a more specific answer will be easier. – John Bogrand 8 years ago
  • Thank you for the answers. Yes I am a bit disoriented. I am linking to the dll of the library. And I didn't know that there are several versions of a LGPL or MIT license. – Tom 8 years ago

1

I don't know the terms of the MIT license by heart, so you'll have to read it.

With regard to the LGPL: is the LGPL work you are using (hereafter referred to as "foo") a library or something else? Is the work based on foo (hereafter referred to as "bar") a derivative of foo, a work that uses foo, or are you unsure (in which case provide more info on bar)?

Generally, if foo is a library, and bar uses foo as an external dependency rather than compiling whole chunks of foo into bar, bar is a work that uses foo, and you have no particular responsibilities under the LGPL.

If you foo is a library, and bar is a modification or derivative of foo, or foo (or significant portions of foo) are compiled into bar to make it count as a derivative, the LGPL applies and you must provide the proper notices, access to the source code, etc. In this case you may at your option relicense bar under the GPL instead of the LGPL if doing so makes more sense to you.

There are a bunch of other cases, but those are the two most common.

IANAL*, but I run an open-source based development shop, so I deal with this stuff daily.

--Susan

*I Am Not A Lawyer: in other words, don't take my word for it, that's what lawyers are for.

answered Nov 4 '10 at 23:23
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Hedge Mage
1,438 points
  • Thank you Susan. You answered my question. My software is linking to the library dll. – Tom 8 years ago
  • This answer is for the LGPL license, not MIT. Not doing anything (the advice above for LGPL when just linking to a DLL) is a violation of the MIT license. – Tim J 8 years ago

1

EDIT

Based on your link to the project it is the MIT license, not LGPL. Here is a wiki page on the MIT license.

So I think you need to have this notice in your software somewhere:

Copyright (c) 2009 Davide Icardi


Permission is hereby granted, free of
charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated
documentation files (the "Software"),
to deal in the Software without
restriction, including without
limitation the rights to use, copy,
modify, merge, publish, distribute,
sublicense, and/or sell copies of the
Software, and to permit persons to
whom the Software is furnished to do
so, subject to the following
conditions:


The above copyright notice and this
permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of
the Software.


THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS",
WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF
CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE
SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS
IN THE SOFTWARE.

answered Nov 4 '10 at 23:28
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Tim J
8,346 points
  • Can I simply put it in a txt file with other application files? – Tom 8 years ago
  • If you can't decide then I think it is time you ask the author listed above what he would be happy with. Or you can look at the listed software that uses it and copy what they do. – Tim J 8 years ago
  • What I have done is provide ALL the license information/text in a dlg box during installation. No one really reads them, but they are there, in your face at install time. I also include a license.txt file in the parent folder. I have no idea if this is acceptable to you or the license holders but in my opinion it is in compliance with the licenses I need to work with. – Tim J 8 years ago
  • Thank you Tim for the info – Tom 8 years ago

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