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Clarification of open-source licensing issues

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I apologise if my question appears to be a repeat of other posted questions about open source licensing  I have trawled the database and cant find anything that completely explains what I need to know. I am not expecting a lawyers response, but some good common-sense advice would be appreciated.

I am developing a software library that will link to two open source libraries, both of which are published under multiple licenses (GPL, LGPL, MPL). I assume that this means that my library would be considered a derivative work?

Although my development work is largely complete, I wish to create an open source project around it, in order to improve its maturity prior to release.

Once complete, I wish to incorporate my library in a proprietary application and possibly also commercially license it to other developers for use in their proprietary applications. Does this mean that it needs dual licenses? Are there any ethical issues with this? Are there any procedures I should follow when accepting public contributions?

Finally, when releasing my proprietary application, what is the correct procedure for distributing the binaries of the two other underlying libraries? Do I simply have to acknowledge them from within my own license file? If so, could you post some example wording?

Sorry for so many questions and many thanks for any insight you can offer.
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Question by:Tim85
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Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 24102643
Hi Tim85,

It really is a tangled web :)

http://developer.kde.org/documentation/licensing/licenses_summary.html
http://khason.net/blog/open-source-licenses-comparison-table/

>> I assume that this means that my library would be considered a derivative work?

Yes.

>> I wish to incorporate my library in a proprietary application and possibly also commercially license it to other
>> developers for use in their proprietary applications. Does this mean that it needs dual licenses?

No, the LGPL provides for that.  The kicker is that the source must remain available.

>> Finally, when releasing my proprietary application, what is...

Sorry.  Can't help on that one.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Tim85
ID: 31567937
Many thanks Jason1178. The two links that you included have provided some valuable clarity and perhaps one of their authors may be able to help my solve the final small part of this puzzle. Thanks again.
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