1

I have been struggling to understand license compatibility and how it manifests.

Two examples:

  1. I have a program to which I wrote the codebase. this codebase then dynamically links to two different open source libs - one licensed under Apache v2 and the other LGPL 2.1. Can I distribute the program considering I comply with Apachev2 and LGPLv2.1 requirements? Or because Apache v2 and LGPLv2.1 are incompatible my program cannot link to these two libraries?

  2. I use the Eclipse Framework (EPLv2) and dynamically link to an Apache2 library. Can I distribute the program considering I comply with EPLv2 and Apache2 requirements?

2

2 Answers 2

3
  1. [...] Can I distribute the program considering I comply with Apachev2 and LGPLv2.1 requirements? Or because Apache v2 and LGPLv2.1 are incompatible my program cannot link to these two libraries?

The LGPL license allows you to (dynamically) link an LGPL library with code that has an incompatible license. So, as long as you don't modify the LGPL library with incompatible-licensed code and you follow the terms of both the LGPL license (for the LGPL library and to the extent that it applies to the code linking to it) and the Apache license (for the Apache library), you can distribute your application.

Can I distribute the program considering I comply with EPLv2 and Apache2 requirements?

Yes. Those licenses don't contradict each other so they are not incompatible.

-2

I still kinda an Open Source noob, but this is my understaning of 'compatibility' in your circumstances:

  1. Apache 2 and LGPL 2.1 are NOT compatible, however if the license said "any later version" like most GPL family boilerplates, you can interept it as "LGPL 3.0" which IS compatible with Apache. If it doesn't say any later version, you cannot distrubte your code with both libraries. Otherwise, ensure that the license you put your own code under is compatible with the code of both libraries (I would recommend either Apache 2 or LGPL 3 for simplicity).

  2. Yes. These licenses are compatible, which means they don't contradict each other. Comply with both terms and you will be fine.

I'm not a lawyer, so I don't guarantee the accuracy of this information.

3
  • 1
    Hi, I noticed someone downvoted this. Can you please explain what I can improve on for the future? Thank you! Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 8:16
  • 1
    I didn't downvote (and I realize this is half a year late), but I can offer the critique that software under any version of LGPL can be linked as a library to software under virtually any license (even proprietary). That's the primary way the LGPL differs from the GPL and it's directly applicable to this OP's case. Sorry no one gave you any feedback sooner!
    – apsillers
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 13:50
  • Thank you so much! I see my mistake now. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 4:29

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.