I have seen that there is a question about gpl and dual licensing, but I know copyleft can behave different depending on the shape of the software.

so here's my question:

I have a package of lua programs.
They use each other. (like libraries)
some are gpl.
Some are completely mine.

Can I dual license the whole thing under gpl (gpl programs) and (my stuff)?

How does this change when the programs that are not my stuff are lgpl?

  • 2
    How do they "use each other"? Do they just call each other through userspace, or do some programs use the others like libraries?
    – MadHatter
    Jul 23, 2018 at 14:03
  • like libraries.
    – KGM
    Jul 23, 2018 at 14:07
  • YES, provided that you request and obtain those libraries with a different license from their respective authors. Whether that is likely/practical/feasible is a different beast...
    – Bakuriu
    Jul 23, 2018 at 18:23
  • 4
    "Dual license" usually refers to making software you've written available under two different licenses, not attempting to use one license on one part and a different license on the other part. Jul 23, 2018 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


IANAL/IANYL. Based on what you've said about libraries, what you have there is not, most likely, "a package of programs"; it's one big program that comes in several parts. As such, and given that the parts that aren't yours are under some version of the GPL, then if you choose to distribute this program, you must do so entirely under the same version of the GPL (modulo "or any later version", if permitted).

If the parts that weren't yours were under LGPL, you could distribute the whole thing under a proprietary licence, provided you observed the LGPL's obligations regarding combined works (and, possibly, combined libraries).

  • can I do licensing as described above if under LGPL?
    – KGM
    Jul 23, 2018 at 19:46
  • @KGM sorry, have you read both paragraphs of my answer?
    – MadHatter
    Jul 23, 2018 at 22:41
  • provided you observed the LGPL's obligations regarding combined works (and, possibly, combined libraries). does my solution do that?!
    – KGM
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:27
  • @KGM I don't know, because you don't say exactly what you propose to distribute, and how. And although how a library's author can make his/her software available under LGPL is on-topic for this site, how someone else can take that and work it into a proprietary product isn't. I've dealt with the GPL case, which is the on-topic bit; doing due diligence for your proprietary product is a task for you.
    – MadHatter
    Jul 24, 2018 at 7:33

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