I have found a library that contains

  1. Arphic (1999) Public Licensed (says the author) image resources, generated by converting a Arphic (1999) Public Licensed Font into SVG and modifying the SVG code
  2. LGPL JS code that dynamically modify the Arphic PL Images and serve it to HTML. I intend to use the Arphic public licensed part for my project *since the codes is not usable for my use case in decided to rewrite them from scratch to suit my use case (the text in code block is outside the scope of question if anyone know anything about this you can give me a link in the comments; I might even release this as open source and dynamically link it to my Application)*.

The only part of the library that I am going to use, by statically linking, is their image resources which the original author made by modifying Arphic PL images and specifically states that the images stays licensed with Arphic PL.

So does that mean if I only use the Arphic public licensed part of the library, I am only using a Arphic public license material thus does not need to comply with LGPL. If I need to comply, do I license parent folder with LGPL which then contains resources folder with Arphic public license?

To reinstate, my question is how to use or more specifically, what license to comply to to only use non-LGPL resources inside a library that contains LGPL codes?

Here is an illustration to better understand my situation.

Library/ -> 
  |-- LGPL.js -> LGPL
  |-- Images -> APL
     |-- img1.svg
     |-- img2.svg

My-App/ -> 
  |-- from-scratch.js -> (Outside the scope of this question)
  |-- Images -> (What?)License
     |-- img1.svg
     |-- img2.svg
  • or maybe I should just give up and go on with easy route by forking the LGPL project, modify it, and re release it as a new LGPL library. Make my app calls functions to my own LGPL library.
    – LordSacha
    May 29, 2020 at 10:12
  • A quick google search doesn't turn up an "XYZ Public License". Could you link to the text of it, as it would definitely be helpful to read it before answering the question?
    – MadHatter
    May 31, 2020 at 5:59
  • @MadHatter Ok. I included the license.
    – user23139
    May 31, 2020 at 6:40
  • Did you try to contact some authors of involved libraries or artwork? Jun 2, 2020 at 6:57
  • @BasileStarynkevitch The library was inactive. Last activity is January. The profile has no email address in it. It's license includes his real name, which then points to country's governor, I don't think a governor would write Javascript.
    – user23139
    Jun 2, 2020 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Assuming the original library can handle any SVG-formatted glyph images and not just these Arphic ones, then the library and images are two independent works as far a copyright is concerned and their licenses don't affect each other. They just happen to be bundled for convenience.

The Arphic Public License is a copyleft license, which means that the images that were derived from the font must remain under that same license. An application that reads those images and does something with them can be licensed in any way you want.

  • What is the need of assuming original library can handle any SVG-formatted? What if it requires specifically formatted SVG, eg: certain path order, #id, classes? The derivative works from APL has to be licensed under APL anyway therefore its state of formatted, or unformatted is unrelated to the library?
    – user23139
    May 31, 2020 at 9:30
  • @LordSacha, if the library can handle only those particular images it can be argued that the library and the images are one work. That causes a licensing issue as both the LGPL and the Arphic PL want to apply to that whole work, but they can't do so at the same time. That would mean distribution of the library is not allowed. May 31, 2020 at 9:53
  • May I know exactly why LGPL tries to apply to the whole work? And exactly how Arphic PL tries to apply to the whole work? IMO, Arphic shouldn't try to apply to whole work because the code.js is not a derivative of Arphic fonts. The formatted SVG is derivative of original work, so it's under APL. But I don't understand why LGPL tries to cover the whole work.
    – user23139
    May 31, 2020 at 11:40
  • Referencing to your own answer from here opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/5478/… Microsoft word can only open .docx which can be argued as specifically formatted text. But it doesn't mean Microsoft Word and .docx formatting is a combined work. How is this different with LGPL code opening/calling/editing specially formatted SVG?
    – user23139
    May 31, 2020 at 11:55
  • @lordsacha, the issue arises when the library needs one particular SVG file. There is no problem if the library can work with any SVG file that is formatted as the library needs it. May 31, 2020 at 12:33

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