GPL vs LGPL
GPL and LGPL are software licenses that protect the freedom of the users to share and/or change open source software. Most software with licenses have restricted freedom when it comes to modifications and distribution, but GPL and LGPL take away those restrictions thus giving their users more leeway. Among the open source licenses present today, these two are the most popular.
What is GPL?
GNU General Public License, or commonly called GPL, is a type of license that’s been used by a lot of free software like Linux. Under this license, it makes sure that the software is open to all users, making them free to amend, edit, or modify open source software, obtain source code and redistribute them. The restrictions involved with GPL are only there to protect the rights of the users. GPL prohibits anyone to deny the rights of the users or surrender their rights.
What is LGPL?
GNU Lesser General Public License, otherwise known as LGPL, is more or less, an amended version of GPL. This license is generally limited to software libraries. It is called Lesser General Public License because it provides less protection to the user’s freedom. This allows non-free programs to gain access or link to the library. When a non-free program links to a library it is called a combined work, or a derivative of the original library.
What is the difference between GPL and LGPL?
• The main difference between GPL and LGPL is that GPL provides more protection to the software users. It allows them the freedom to make changes to the software, share and receive source code.
• When a user distributes the software, one must make sure others can get the same rights. It is important to note that any changes made in the software must also be licensed under GPL.
• LPGL, on the other hand, is specially designated for software libraries, wherein one can make changes and give back source codes, but one can link it to a non-free program wherein it is not licensed under GPL. Most programs today are licensed under GPL while most libraries use GPL, some opts to use LGPL so that more people are allowed to use benefit from it.
•GPL is mostly for programs while LGPL is limited to software libraries.
•Whenever changes are made under GPL license, source codes are required and changes must also be licensed under GPL, while LGPL may allow non-GPL programs to link to libraries but must still provide source codes.