Non Disclosure Agreement and GPL

simo simo.sorce at
Sun Mar 2 14:05:33 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-03-02 at 10:02 +0100, Yves Autran wrote:
> I develop a software where I do have a NDA part, how can I handle this?
> I have to link the code against :
> glibc (LGPL)
> libusb (LGPL)
> libnova (LGPL)
> if I refer to 
> , I 
> am allowed to hide the source code for the NDA piece of the code and 
> publish the sources not relating to the NDA.
> What should I tell the community ?
> Can I still use the GPL licensing?
> How should I behave with the LGPL projects owners/maintainers
> Thanks a lot for your help in this case.

It really depends on the terms of the NDA, in many some cases the NDA
covers the information need to write the software but the software
itself can be freely released.

If you wan to keep the software closed and distribute* it you cannot use
the GPL license.

The LGPL license is more permissive, you don't necessarily need to
release the non LGPL portions in source form, but read very well the
requirements of the LGPL, you still need to make it possible for a party
to change any LGPL code and recompile the resulting software, so unless
all LGPL code is loaded as shared objects, you may need to provide .o/.h
files and Makefiles needed to rebuild the application.


* distribution is generally any transfer of the software across legal
boundaries, even a single copy conveyed to a third party is

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