author  Sam Lantinga <slouken@libsdl.org> 
Sat, 10 Oct 2009 09:58:24 +0000  
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GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE 
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Version 2.1, February 1999 
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Copyright (C) 1991, 1999 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 
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51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 021101301 USA 
0  6 
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies 
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of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. 

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[This is the first released version of the Lesser GPL. It also counts 
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as the successor of the GNU Library Public License, version 2, hence 
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the version number 2.1.] 
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Preamble 

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The licenses for most software are designed to take away your 

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freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public 

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Licenses are intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change 

18 
free softwareto make sure the software is free for all its users. 

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This license, the Lesser General Public License, applies to some 
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specially designated software packagestypically librariesof the 
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Free Software Foundation and other authors who decide to use it. You 
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can use it too, but we suggest you first think carefully about whether 
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this license or the ordinary General Public License is the better 
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strategy to use in any particular case, based on the explanations below. 
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When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom of use, 
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not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that 
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you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge 
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for this service if you wish); that you receive source code or can get 
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it if you want it; that you can change the software and use pieces of 
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it in new free programs; and that you are informed that you can do 
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these things. 
0  34 

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To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid 

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distributors to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender these 
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rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for 
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you if you distribute copies of the library or if you modify it. 
0  39 

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For example, if you distribute copies of the library, whether gratis 

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or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that we gave 

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you. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source 

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code. If you link other code with the library, you must provide 
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complete object files to the recipients, so that they can relink them 
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with the library after making changes to the library and recompiling 
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it. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights. 
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We protect your rights with a twostep method: (1) we copyright the 
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library, and (2) we offer you this license, which gives you legal 
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permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the library. 
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To protect each distributor, we want to make it very clear that 
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there is no warranty for the free library. Also, if the library is 
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modified by someone else and passed on, the recipients should know 
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that what they have is not the original version, so that the original 
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author's reputation will not be affected by problems that might be 
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introduced by others. 
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Finally, software patents pose a constant threat to the existence of 
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any free program. We wish to make sure that a company cannot 
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effectively restrict the users of a free program by obtaining a 
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restrictive license from a patent holder. Therefore, we insist that 
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any patent license obtained for a version of the library must be 
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consistent with the full freedom of use specified in this license. 
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Most GNU software, including some libraries, is covered by the 
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ordinary GNU General Public License. This license, the GNU Lesser 
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General Public License, applies to certain designated libraries, and 
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is quite different from the ordinary General Public License. We use 
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this license for certain libraries in order to permit linking those 
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libraries into nonfree programs. 
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When a program is linked with a library, whether statically or using 
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a shared library, the combination of the two is legally speaking a 
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combined work, a derivative of the original library. The ordinary 
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General Public License therefore permits such linking only if the 
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entire combination fits its criteria of freedom. The Lesser General 
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Public License permits more lax criteria for linking other code with 
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the library. 
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We call this license the "Lesser" General Public License because it 
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does Less to protect the user's freedom than the ordinary General 
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Public License. It also provides other free software developers Less 
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of an advantage over competing nonfree programs. These disadvantages 
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are the reason we use the ordinary General Public License for many 
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libraries. However, the Lesser license provides advantages in certain 
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special circumstances. 
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For example, on rare occasions, there may be a special need to 
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encourage the widest possible use of a certain library, so that it becomes 
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a defacto standard. To achieve this, nonfree programs must be 
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allowed to use the library. A more frequent case is that a free 
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library does the same job as widely used nonfree libraries. In this 
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case, there is little to gain by limiting the free library to free 
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software only, so we use the Lesser General Public License. 
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In other cases, permission to use a particular library in nonfree 
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programs enables a greater number of people to use a large body of 
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free software. For example, permission to use the GNU C Library in 
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nonfree programs enables many more people to use the whole GNU 
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operating system, as well as its variant, the GNU/Linux operating 
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system. 
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Although the Lesser General Public License is Less protective of the 
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users' freedom, it does ensure that the user of a program that is 
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linked with the Library has the freedom and the wherewithal to run 
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that program using a modified version of the Library. 
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modification follow. Pay close attention to the difference between a 

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"work based on the library" and a "work that uses the library". The 

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former contains code derived from the library, whereas the latter must 
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be combined with the library in order to run. 
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GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE 
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TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION 
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0. This License Agreement applies to any software library or other 
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program which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder or 
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other authorized party saying it may be distributed under the terms of 
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this Lesser General Public License (also called "this License"). 
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Each licensee is addressed as "you". 
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