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Wed Apr 28 21:25:55 PDT 2010

Q2a: What is the implication of static linking?
A2a: You need to comply with the license requirements. Eban Moglen in
indicates that you are producing a "derivative work" of the code in
the library. In the United States the US Copyright Office states at
  A "derivative work," that is, a work that is based on (or derived
  from) one or more already existing works ... [copyright statements].
Both of those statements are pretty clear so section 6 of the LGPL
applies. Note that you can distribute (6a)
  ... [your work] as object code and/or source code, so that the user
  can modify the Library and then relink to produce a modified
  executable containing the modified Library
You can thus distribute object files (and protect your source code)
and still comply with the requirements of the LGPL.

However, others (in particular, Richard Stallman) does not necessarily
interpret the LGPL in this way. I strongly recommend you contact the
copyright holder prior to building a statically linked application for
distribution as a commercial product.

In this case, you'd have to contact Troll Tech and ask them if even
this is allowed, but at the very least you can NOT distribute
libmedia_plugin_webkit.{sp,dll,dylib}, which is statically linked
with Qt, without at least providing the object files that it exists
of (in addition to Qt), that you are the copyright holder of.

I think this is extremely logical: The user must at all times
be able to get the source code of the LGPL-ed library, change it,
and *RELINK* it with the application he or she is using.

The BSD guys have a different view though (just to make clear that
you completely orthogonal view really ought to be backed up by one
of your lawyers). Quoting
(where 'glibc' is used as an example of an LGPL-ed library):

If you statically link an application with glibc, such as is often
required in embedded systems, you cannot keep your application proprietary,
that is, the source must be released. Both the GPL and LGPL require
any modifications to the code directly under the license to be released.

Carlo Wood <carlo at>

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