wxWidgets is currently licenced under the "wxWindows Library Licence" pending approval of the "wxWidgets Library Licence" which will be identical apart from the name.
The wxWindows Library Licence is essentially the L-GPL (Library General Public Licence), with an exception stating that derived works in binary form may be distributed on the user's own terms. This is a solution that satisfies those who wish to produce GPL'ed software using wxWidgets, and also those producing proprietary software.
Participants in the discussion that led to this decision include the folk from AbiSource, Robert Roebling, Julian Smart, Markus Fleck, Karsten Ballueder, and some advice from Richard Stallman. Richard has confirmed that the new licence is compatible with GPL'ed applications. However, there are no significant restrictions on proprietary applications.
The wxWindows Library Licence has been approved by the Open Source Initiative.
In August 2005, an ambiguity in Clause 2 was removed (replaced "the user's" with "your") and the version bumped to 3.1.
The licencing of the wxWidgets library is intended to protect the wxWidgets library, its developers, and its users, so that the considerable investment it represents is not abused.
Under the terms of the original wxWidgets licences, you as a user are not obliged to distribute wxWidgets source code with your products, if you distribute these products in binary form. However, you are prevented from restricting use of the library in source code form, or denying others the rights to use or distribute wxWidgets library source code in the way intended.
The wxWindows Library License establishes the copyright for the code and related material, and it gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the library. It also asserts that no warranty is given by the authors for this or derived code.
The core distribution of the wxWidgets library contains files under two different licences:
Most files are distributed under the GNU Library General Public License, version 2, with the special exception that you may create and distribute object code versions built from the source code or modified versions of it (even if these modified versions include code under a different licence), and distribute such binaries under your own terms.
Most core wxWidgets manuals are made available under the "wxWindows Free Documentation License", which allows you to distribute modified versions of the manuals, such as versions documenting any modifications made by you in your version of the library. However, you may not restrict any third party from reincorporating your changes into the original manuals.
wxWindows Library Licence
wxWindows Library Licence, Version 3.1 ====================================== Copyright (c) 1998-2005 Julian Smart, Robert Roebling et al Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this licence document, but changing it is not allowed. WXWINDOWS LIBRARY LICENCE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Library General Public Licence as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the Licence, or (at your option) any later version. This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Library General Public Licence for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU Library General Public Licence along with this software, usually in a file named COPYING.LIB. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA. EXCEPTION NOTICE 1. As a special exception, the copyright holders of this library give permission for additional uses of the text contained in this release of the library as licenced under the wxWindows Library Licence, applying either version 3.1 of the Licence, or (at your option) any later version of the Licence as published by the copyright holders of version 3.1 of the Licence document. 2. The exception is that you may use, copy, link, modify and distribute under your own terms, binary object code versions of works based on the Library. 3. If you copy code from files distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence or the GNU Library General Public Licence into a copy of this library, as this licence permits, the exception does not apply to the code that you add in this way. To avoid misleading anyone as to the status of such modified files, you must delete this exception notice from such code and/or adjust the licensing conditions notice accordingly. 4. If you write modifications of your own for this library, it is your choice whether to permit this exception to apply to your modifications. If you do not wish that, you must delete the exception notice from such code and/or adjust the licensing conditions notice accordingly.
wxWindows Free Documentation License
wxWindows Free Documentation Licence, Version 3 =============================================== Copyright (c) 1998 Julian Smart, Robert Roebling et al Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this licence document, but changing it is not allowed. WXWINDOWS FREE DOCUMENTATION LICENCE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION 1. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual or piece of documentation provided any copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies. 2. Permission is granted to process this file or document through a document processing system and, at your option and the option of any third party, print the results, provided a printed document carries a copying permission notice identical to this one. 3. Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual or piece of documentation under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also that any sections describing licensing conditions for this manual, such as, in particular, the GNU General Public Licence, the GNU Library General Public Licence, and any wxWindows Licence are included exactly as in the original, and provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one. 4. Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual or piece of documentation into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that sections related to licensing, including this paragraph, may also be included in translations approved by the copyright holders of the respective licence documents in addition to the original English. WARRANTY DISCLAIMER 5. BECAUSE THIS MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR IT, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THIS MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION. 6. IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF A PROGRAM BASED ON THE MANUAL OR PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.