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I'm writing a dynamic library that's licensed under GPL 3.0. To simplify distribution, I'd like to statically link as many of the library's dependencies as possible. One of these libraries is licensed under LGPL 2.1 or later.

If I were to statically link the LGPL-2.1+-licensed library in with my own GPL-3.0-licensed library, would I be compliant with both licenses?

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    I am not too sure about particular versions, but in general, if you are GPL compliant you are already LGPL compliant. LGPL doesn't bring in the same licensing obligation as GPL.
    – dtech
    Aug 4, 2023 at 18:58

2 Answers 2

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Yes.

Section 3 of the LGPLv2.1 allows it to be "upgraded" to GPLv2+. So any method of linking, or even direct copying of code, may be used when combining an LGPLv2.1-only or LGPLv2.1+ work with a GPLv3 work. The combined work would be licensed under GPLv3.

This is also confirmed by the compatibility matrix in the GPL FAQ.

  1. 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.
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Yes.

  • LGPL 2.1+ can be "upgraded" to LGPL 3.0 due to the "any later versions" clause.
  • LGPL 3.0 is compatible with GPL 3.0 - more specifically, if you are compliant with the GPL 3.0 then you are automatically compliant with LGPL 3.0 as one option for distributing LGPL 3.0 code is to meet the GPL 3.0 requirements (Section 2(b)).

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