If I use an Open Source library which is released under a zLib like license, but it has dependencies on libraries that are using LGPL or GPL; what license am I able to release my project under?

If I read things I find on the net it sounds like I can sell my project but I can't stop people from distributing it freely as per GPL?

1 Answer 1


If libX has hard dependencies on a GPL library, then it cannot be distributed under a permissive/non-copyleft license like zLib. Better check that the library in question has their licensing in order.

Either way, if your code depends (transitively) on GPL, you have to abide by those terms. Selling is allowed, but the user must be provided source and allowed to redistribute, etc.

  • One example is SFML. The text of it's license looks very much like zlib and notes the licenses used by it's external dependencies. Sep 11, 2014 at 4:44
  • 1
    LGPL is not an issue when used as a library and Freetype is dual-licensed.
    – Jed
    Sep 11, 2014 at 6:07

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