I am considering using a library licensed under LGPL which states...

If you link other code with the library, you must provide complete object files to the recipients, so that they can relink them with the library after making changes to the library and recompiling it.

In terms of protecting my IP, are there any concerns in supplying the Object Code along with the application?

  • 1
    What is the language platform you are using? Are you linking statically with this LGPL library? Are you modifying it? These are essentially elements to provide a proper answer. Dec 22, 2016 at 18:46
  • @PhilippeOmbredanne Thanks for your reply, however we are currently considering the answers to your questions as variables, and are interested in what combinations of these variables would result in a compromise of our IP.
    – pingu
    Jan 4, 2017 at 14:39
  • Linking and determining if there is static or dynamic linking is a concept that is eminently language- and platform-specific. And linking type determination is essential for these LGPL terms. JavaScript or C/C++ or Java or Python or Rust or Go or Haskell have very different take on the topic. Jan 5, 2017 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


No. All you have to ensure is to either don't modify the library you where linking to or to complete redistribute your changes on the library. In both cases you have to ensure that the user is able to remove your shipped object files and replace them with by-his-own-compiled ones (same version, compatible binary format…)

Of course this will be difficult (to you) if you only distribute static linked binaries.

  • 2
    Could you add some references? Dec 22, 2016 at 18:47
  • The LGPL doesn't require that you redistribute changes to a library. Instead it requires that you provide the library source code (including any changes) to a user that is requesting them from you. Regarding the 2nd sentence: the LGPL doesn't care about if the user is able to remove your shipped object files. Instead it mandates that a user can re-link your proprietary object files against another version of the LGPL'd library, possibly one the user build from source. Feb 23, 2020 at 9:15

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.