I am creating a library by building source of wkhtmltopdf which is having a LGPLv3 license. Is it legal to change the file names of wkhtmltopdf source used in my library ? My library will be integrated to a commercial application. If it is OK to change can you share some website or resource which describes that file name change of LGPLv3 source code is legit.

  • 3
    It's an interesting question, but can I ask why you want to do this? Renaming the files might make it difficult/impossible for your end users to replace your version of wkhtmltopdf with their own version, which is basically one of the high-level requirement of the LGPL(v3).
    – Brandin
    Commented Jan 2 at 11:24
  • 2
    I see wkhtmltopdf has both a command-line version (where the name of the tool is generally important for interoperability) and a C library version. Could you also say which one you are distributing/modifying/renaming? The command-line tool, or the C library version ("c-bindings" in the documentation).
    – Brandin
    Commented Jan 2 at 11:32
  • Related (this one is Answered for Java; someone with experience can customize this type of answer for this tool/environment): opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/13841/…
    – Brandin
    Commented Jan 2 at 11:35
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? To what extent can I change an AGPL project? Commented Jan 2 at 17:48
  • 1
    if you think the answer is helpful, please consider accepting it. If it is not, it would be helpful to point out what is lacking and maybe detail your question a bit more as to help pin-pointing your exact problem. Commented Jan 5 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


Of course it is legal to make changes to an open source programme or library - that's the point.

In the case of a strong copyleft license like the GPL you are, however, required to provide the sources to your customers of the changed versions which you distribute - and it's necessary to indicate that you made changes to the version (thus you have to give credit to the original contributors as by the license requirements, but you also may not wrongfully attribute the modified work (only) to other people).

In some cases where the actual name is trademark registered it may be required to change the name you distribute the programme or library under, if you want / need to distribute modified versions.

In the particular case of an LGPL - licensed C/C++ - library you will need to allow replacing the libary on the provided product. For dynamically-linked libraries this is no problem: the user just needs to be able to rebuild the library. For statically-linked libraries this is usually done by providing the object files to your binary so the users can re-link the binary with a modified library. In both cases you might simply want to publish the sources of your library in a repository with clearly-tagged versions used for distribution.

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.