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Re: Partial distribution of GPL source

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Partial distribution of GPL source
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 09:59:24 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"lichen678" <> writes:

> Please redirect me if I'm posting in the wrong place:
> I am writing GPL code.
> I want to use pieces of code from LGPL libraries.
> I would prefer not to distribute the entire library when I only need a
> few modules. So I have been stripping out the modules needed, writing a
> new Makefile to compile them independently, and bundling the
> stripped-down library with my code, placed into a separate
> subdirectory.
> The source code has not been modified, and I've left the entire set of
> licensing and documentation files in the subdirectory, as well as a
> brief file describing what I've done.
> Is this legal?

Without checking the details, I would guess not.  But why would you
bother?  The LGPL states:

  3. You may opt to apply the terms of the ordinary GNU General Public
License instead of this License to a given copy of the Library.  To do
this, you must alter all the notices that refer to this License, so
that they refer to the ordinary GNU General Public License, version 2,
instead of to this License.  (If a newer version than version 2 of the
ordinary GNU General Public License has appeared, then you can specify
that version instead if you wish.)  Do not make any other change in
these notices.
  Once this change is made in a given copy, it is irreversible for
that copy, so the ordinary GNU General Public License applies to all
subsequent copies and derivative works made from that copy.

  This option is useful when you wish to copy part of the code of
the Library into a program that is not a library.

> I don't entirely follow the legalese, but it seems to indicate that
> there may be problems with stripping functionality out of an LGPL
> library.

I wouldn't bother if you rerelease as GPL anyway.  Just follow the
step 3 and you are set.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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