Thursday, May 31, 2012

LGPL, MIT, or Apache - differences?

If I've got some code that I'd like to share and make open source.

I'm not a lawyer. What are the big differences between these choices?

  • LGPL - GNU Lesser General Public License

  • MIT License

  • Apache License

Source: Tips4all


  1. This might help you.

    Unfortunately the link is broken. But you can access an archived version here.

  2. Personally, I've been checking this out

    which is the first hit in Google, too.

  3. The MIT license is liberal and short, basically it just prevents you from claiming that you wrote the code and suing the author because something in her code was wrong.

    LGPL is a license that adds some flexibility* to the GPL. GPL forces the people who use the code in a project to release the whole project under GPL. With LGPL, there's no such obligation if the code is linked to your project (generally we say that it has to be done dynamically, e.g. through a DLL or shared object, but I'm not sure this is a fact).
    Note that nobody really understands GPL, even lawyers. From what I've understood from this book, whether your project must be released under GPL or not depends on how we define “derivative work”, which apparently hasn't been stated in court yet.

    I don't know anything about the Apache license.