LIcensing of libwp* and its effect on that of libcdr and libvisio

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at
Tue Feb 28 03:29:08 PST 2012

On Monday 27 of February 2012, Michael Meeks wrote:
> On Mon, 2012-02-27 at 20:00 +0200, Tor Lillqvist wrote:
> > The older libwpd, libwpg and libwps libraries are LGPLv2+ The newer
> > libcdr and libvisio libraries written in the same style are
> > MPL/LGPL.v+2/GPLv2+
> > However, as they depend on libwp* stuff, and link to them (statically)
> > or maybe include inline C++ code from libwp* headers, that is
> > irrelevant, isn't it, they effectively become LGPLv2+-only, too?
> 	Linking statically might have an unintended licensing impact (IANAL),
> but my hope would be that we could re-work the (fairly small?) parts of
> libwp* that are required for libcdr / libvisio and/or persuade the
> authors to MPL dual license them, such that we can ship them on iOS :-)
> [ I assume that is the question behind the question ].

 IANAL either, but I think the linking mechanism on its own doesn't matter. 
AFAIK the LGPL distinguishes between a derived work of the library and work 
using the library, and our case should be the latter. While the sooner 
requires the result to be LGPL, the latter only has smaller requirements, 
which can be satisfied by providing a notice and our source code. 
Specifically, I think section 5 of LGPLv3 applies here.

 But the proper solution to this problem is finding somebody who can't say 
IANAL and thus should be able to provide a founded answer. I would be 
surprised if e.g. SUSE lawyers haven't run into this yet.

 Lubos Lunak
 l.lunak at

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