LGPLv3 section 4e:

Provide Installation Information, but only if you would otherwise be required to provide such information under section 6 of the GNU GPL, and only to the extent that such information is necessary to install and execute a modified version of the Combined Work produced by recombining or relinking the Application with a modified version of the Linked Version.

GPLv3 section 6 goes on to say "Install Information" only applies for a "User Product".

If I am not releasing a "User Product", can I sell a "locked down device" (e.g. tivoization)?

1 Answer 1


As I read it, yes, that's correct. Note, however, that the decision about whether something's a "User Product" isn't left to you. GPLv3 says that:

A “User Product” is either (1) a “consumer product”, which means any tangible personal property which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes, or (2) anything designed or sold for incorporation into a dwelling. In determining whether a product is a consumer product, doubtful cases shall be resolved in favor of coverage.


A product is a consumer product regardless of whether the product has substantial commercial, industrial or non-consumer uses, unless such uses represent the only significant mode of use of the product.

So if you're sure that your device doesn't constitute a consumer product, cannot reasonably be used as a consumer product, and is neither intended nor sold for incorporation into a dwelling, then the "anti-tivoization" provisions don't apply to your device. You'd better be really, really sure about that before relying on it, though, and I'm not aware of any case law to help you.

  • 1
    Is "cannot reasonably be used as a consumer product" really part of GPLv3? Doesn't GPLv3 explicitly say a product is a "User Product" if the "typical or common use of that class of product, regardless of the status of the particular user or of the way in which the particular user actually uses, or expects or is expected to use". It sounds like it doesn't matter if someone can or expects to use a product as a consumer product as long as the class of product is a user product or not. In other words, a tractor is a non user product even if you can use it as a "User Product". Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 16:29
  • 1
    @antitivoization re the tractor: I think you have the argument the wrong way around. A product is a consumer product unless it very clearly isn't, as my quote from GPLv3 shows. A tractor arguably isn't, because it has no consumer uses. A four-ton CNC milling machine, likewise. A lawn tractor? A 150-kg computerised lathe? Much less clear. Unless the only significant modes of use of the product are non-consumer cases, it's a consumer product.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 20:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.