[postgis-users] Is PostGIS effectively LGPL?

Bruce Momjian bruce at momjian.us
Wed Dec 21 11:44:50 PST 2016

On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 02:12:36PM -0500, Regina Obe wrote:
> I wouldn't say essentially LGPL.
> The thing is that when PostGIS is used, it is via linking or the psql
> and similar driver API.  So e.g. PostgreSQL can exist without PostGIS
> and your software can call PostGIS functions without embedding PostGIS
> into it and alls stored functions are in source code anyway if you
> sell to a customer.

Well, some companies modify the Postgres server and ship a closed-source
binary, plus some people have compiled C functions or extensions that
might be closed source.

> It falls under this exception:
> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#SystemLibraryException

Well, I am sure some do ship PostGIS along with the closed-source
Postgres backend binary, and the system library exception excludes that.


> Now if you were to take the source code of PostGIS and compile it into
> your own software, then your software I think would then be governed
> by the
> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#IfLibraryIsGPL you
> describe.

Right.  I am asking more about dymanic linking into the Postgres server

  Bruce Momjian  <bruce at momjian.us>        http://momjian.us
  EnterpriseDB                             http://enterprisedb.com

+ As you are, so once was I.  As I am, so you will be. +
+                      Ancient Roman grave inscription +

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