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Just curious to know, why are the programs shotwell and VLC media player released under LGPL? Maybe because that they are written just not for Linux, but for other proprietary operating systems too?

which opens new questions to me: Can I assume, that any software that is due to be released for windows should be LGPLed?

Maybe I am not able to understand the LGPL quite correctly - especially this line (from Wikipedia):

The main difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that the latter allows the work to be linked with (in the case of a library, "used by") a non-(L)GPLed program, regardless of whether it is free software or proprietary software.

My interpretation of the above is: A proprietary software can only use LGPL programs/ libraries and not GPL programs/libraries. But then, how can Microsoft include bash (GPL) in their release?

  • can the downvoter atleast comment on the reason for downvoting? – infoclogged Apr 27 '17 at 13:14
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I am not a lawyer.

Just curious to know, why are the programs shotwell and vlc media player released under LGPL?

The software author has the right to choose which license they want to use. It's possible VLC uses other open source software components/libraries which may limit the number of software licenses they can use. For example, if VLC loads another GPL library, then it would have to have a GPL-compatible license

which opens new questions to me: Can I assume, that any software that is due to be released for windows should be LGPLed?

No. You cannot assume all Windows software is LGPL. You will have to check on a program by program basis.

GPL vs LGPL - You can load LGPL libraries at runtime (dynamic linking) into proprietary programs. You cannot load GPL libraries into a proprietary/closed source program at runtime. You cannot statically link (e.g. compile directly into your program) a GPL or LGPL library into a closed source program. The difference is the LGPL allows you to dynamically link against a library without affecting the license of the program that is doing the linking.

Edit: Forgot to answer the last question.

how can microsoft include bash ( GPL ) in their release?

I don't think Microsoft uses bash with it's proprietary operating system. Yes, it ships it for users, but Windows doesn't need it to run. Essentially, it's there if you want to use it, but the Windows OS can function fine without it. Windows does not link against it statically or dynamically.

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