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I want to use an LGPL-licensed library in my app for Microsoft's app marketplace. Is that OK?

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closed as off-topic by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Kilian Foth, MichaelT, DougM Feb 3 '14 at 19:06

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

IANAL. The question is really do the terms of the MS App Marketplace and the LGPL conflict in any way? If the answer is "No" then it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise it may be. Does the app marketplace prevent source distribution? Does the app marketplace forbid open source? edit More info from a quick google of the problem: social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsphone7series/thread/… –  Thomas James Feb 13 '11 at 4:16
This question appears to be off-topic because it is tour issues to be addressed by Microsoft's app marketplace support. –  gnat Feb 3 '14 at 8:01
Also, keep in mind that you should NEVER EVER follow the legal advice that you get on the Internet, except if it comes from a lawyer. Preferably one who specializes in the given field, in this case: software licenses. So do take all these answers with a grain of salt, because otherwise you may be exposing yourself to lawsuits. –  Radu Murzea Feb 3 '14 at 8:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Here is an encompassing answer:

In short: yes you can. But one important thing to take care of is that the GNU LGPL covered library is dynamically linked, not statically mixed with the main application.

It should also be possible to exchange that dynamically linked library for an independently compiled build. Otherwise you have likely intertwingled the library and main application code.

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This is true for LGPL 2, but LGPL 3 seems to allow static linking if I understand it correctly. –  Richard Le Mesurier Aug 14 '14 at 8:10

This article may help.

I suspect that because LGPL allows making the source code (of the library that you linked to) available via a download, it must be OK to use an LGPL-licensed lib in your app for Microsoft's marketplace.

Quote from LGPL version 2.1:

If distribution of object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place satisfies the requirement to distribute the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

The only thing that seems to be an issue is the "same place" requirement, which you will not be fulfilling if your app is being distributed via the marketplace.

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The LGPL license allows an application that references the binaries to remain closed-source. Also, there's nothing preventing you from selling an open source app on the Microsoft App Marketplace.

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