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The LGPLv2.1 license states in Section 6:

  1. As an exception to the Sections above, you may also combine or link a "work that uses the Library" with the Library to produce a work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification of the work for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications.

Let's assume here that the combined work, refers to a proprietary closed source software linked to a LGPLv2.1-licensed Library.

Does this mean that the user who receives a distribution of the combined work, must be able to modify the proprietary closed source software for his own use and reverse engineer it for debugging such modifications?

If yes, does this mean that the user must have the right to modify such proprietary closed source software for his own use (i.e. not distribute such modifications further), but the license does not require that the user should receive the source code to that proprietary closed source software?

Here, I assume that the bolded word "work" above refers to the "work that uses the Library" i.e. the proprietary closed source software in my example.

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  • Well, technically and grammatically, I think "that work" and "the work" (bolded in your version) should probably refer to the "work containing portions of the Library", since that phrase is the most recent "work" phrase in the paragraph. But I'm not sure if that makes much of a practical difference in the meaning.
    – Brandin
    Aug 22, 2023 at 6:13

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