Writing an exception to LGPL for a C++ template library

Benoît Jacob jacob at math.jussieu.fr
Sun Oct 29 12:33:49 UTC 2006

Thanks a lot Federico for this explanation.

Following your advice, we're going GPL + exception following closely the eCos 


Le samedi 28 octobre 2006 20:02, vous avez écrit :
> On Wed, October 25, 2006 3:30 pm, Benoit Jacob wrote:
> > Thanks for your answers. The reasons why we were considering using the
> > LGPL, not the GPL, are that:
> > - we need to make sure LGPL-licensed software (apps,libs,everything) can
> > use our library without any worry.
> > - we don't care too much if proprietary software uses our lib (though we
> > wouldn't rejoice about that either).
> Both issues can be sorted out with a GPL + exception license. In general,
> using LGPL for C++ libraries is a bad idea -I would say. Besides the
> "lesser" aspect of the LGPL, it is obsolete in its language (when you
> have templates and methods implemented in headers, the division between
> the library and the application using it is not a matter of just linking
> anymore). In the obsolete language of the LGPL, when you use a template,
> you would be basically copying code.
> Some FAQs about the libstdc++ "runtime exception" are answered here:
> http://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/libstdc++/17_intro/license.html.
> To the best of my knowledge, GPL + linking exception is the best way
> of extending the LGPL conditions for C++ libraries. Using an exception
> similar to that of libstdc++ you will of course allow using your
> library in proprietary applications. If you prefer to avoid that
> abuse, you could reformulate the exception so that it only allows the
> library to be used in GPL and LGPL (or a list of free licenses
> acceptable from your point of view) apps and libs.
> It seems the eCos license 2.0
> (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/ecos-license.html) is also a case of
> GPL + exception. This license however adds the restriction that source
> code of the app. using the library must be available as specified in
> section (3) of the GPL.
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