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It is critical to know what constitutes "conveying" under LGPL v3. I am considering creating some software based on LGPL v3. The software will be used to run a web application. Now I wonder whether the "conveying" clauses would get activated if I published the modified code on GitHub to the public.

I understand that none of you are lawyers so IANAL is implied. I also understand that I could contact the developers of the LGPL software and ask for a different license.

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I'm confused. If you're publishing your modified code, you're meeting the most difficult condition of the LGPL. I don't see what the problem is. – Karl Bielefeldt Jan 30 '12 at 15:54
@KarlBielefeldt Excellent question (btw. that got you a vote in the moderator election, hope you want to get elected). I was considering modifying the source code and release the modifications (on GitHub) under a non-free license. It seems like there will be restrictions on the kind of modifications that can be released under a different license once the software is conveyed. – David Jan 30 '12 at 21:27

GitHub has private repositories as well as publich repositories.

If you publish it on the public repositories, since GitHub allows people to download, publishing on Github constitutes conveying.

If you publish it in the private repositories, where there is not access to outsiders, it is equivalent to having it inside your own computer. This is not conveying.

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The general, FAQ level answer is that the GPL was designed so that if you gave somebody your software to use you also had to give them the source code to use.

As the versions of the GPL have rolled out they are to combat, essentially, things that work around that definition and stop people being able to change the program they got a copy of.

In the specific case you can be reasonably confident that the intention was to allow you to take an LGPL library, modify it, and give it to other people under the same license (or a more strongly free license, the GPL) - and to require that you do that if you give them anything derived from the modified version.

So, the answer is yes, if you follow the spirit of the license.

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I agree that it is the intention of the license that I should be allowed to do this, but I am not sure whether it is the case after lawyers have a look at the license. – David Jan 30 '12 at 0:43
If you want an answer something other than opinion, you are going to have to pay a lawyer. Not least, because the answer will be different depending on where in the world you are located. Generally, though, assuming that the license achieves the intended result is relatively safe, when it has had significant time from real lawyers invested in it. – Daniel Pittman Jan 30 '12 at 0:45

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