License questions

Peut Kotze PK at
Wed Apr 16 07:23:09 PDT 2003

This FAQ touch on some issues regarding GPL, LGPL, BSD and others...

Hope it helps
Peut Kotze

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Moran [mailto:wmoran at]
Sent: 16 April 2003 03:23
To: Socketd
Cc: questions at
Subject: Re: License questions

I am not a lawyer.  If you're running a business you should seek
legal advice.  Here's my opinion/experience, however.

Socketd wrote:
> I would like to use FreeBSD to make commercial and free software. For
 > I use a number of programs and third-party libraries (I program in
C++). My
 > guess it that there is no problem with using antuja, gnome, c++ doc
and other
 > programs for this, but what about the libraries? Some of them are
 > under the BSD license, but other under GPL or LGPL.
> My question is, can I use libraries like dbconnect, common c++,
 > (which are all under the GPL or LGPL) to make closed-source,
 > software?

Maybe.  You can do it with LGPL, but not with GPL.  Not being able to
create closed-source software from GPLed stuff is a fundamental precept
the GPL.

> Also, if I want to release software under the BSD license, does the
 > have to be included in every file I write?

I'm not sure, but it should would be safer that way (no chance of "I
get the license with this distro")  I think you should at least put in a
notification that the software is distributed under the BSD license.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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