Electron contains LGPL v3 from libchromiumcontent


#1

I have a proprietary Electron app that we’d like to distribute. However, it has been brought to my attention that there are some potential license problems found in LICENSES.chromium.html. The offending packages are:

  • talloc, LGPL v3
  • liblouis (Braille Translation Library), LGPL v3
    (potentially others, we are still digging through the other licenses)

If the license file is accurate then wouldn’t this be a problem for all Electron applications? I realize Electron is MIT, but it contains LGPL v3 content, how is does this work? Does Electron only dynamically load the libchromiumcontent object and not link against it, therefore it might be acceptable? I am not a lawyer and I don’t have a deep knowledge in the Electron design–only a new user.

Any information regarding the acceptability of using these LGPL v3 packages within an Electron app would be much appreciated.


#2

I also am NOT a lawyer. Generally, however, the LGPL license says that if you modify the code you have to distribute the modifications. HOWEVER, if you don’t modify the code, and just link to it, then your code is not affected by the usual “copyleft” provisions of the GPL. That is why LGPL is called the “Lesser” GPL. So as long as talloc and liblouis are used unmodified, and linked to, you should be in compliance.


#3

Thanks for the information. This topic is rather messy.

FWIW, I did check as well with the Brightray guys and they claim these libs are part of the build/testing processes so they should not be a problem.