As far as I understand, choosing GPL licence for library does not permits use of it in proprietary programs as opposed to LGPL.

So releasing my library (or code classes), I'm forcing people to use them only in free programs, is that right? Is it including myself?

In other words, as owner of the libraries, can I break these requirements/terms of the licence and use it in proprietary programs against the GPL terms and sell the proprietary program which is using my own GPL libraries?



1 Answer 1


Yes indeed, as the sole author (copyright owner) of a library, you are not bound by the terms you choose to license it to the general public.

Thus you can use it in your own proprietary programs.

This is also why you can dual-license, re-license the work or sell commercial licenses.

Now, you must be very careful that you really are the sole copyright owner. As soon as you accept contributions, these contributions are licensed to you under the GPL license and you must respect the license to use the version of the library that contains such modifications.

If you want to be able to continue using the library with external contributions without following the terms of the license you need to require your contributors to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) which will contain specific wording describing what you can do with their contributions. In this case, you will be bound by this agreement instead of the license. But be careful how the CLA is written: it could scare off some contributors; and if it is not written with the help of a lawyer, it might not do what you want...

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