[ProgSoc] GPL and license compatibility

Nicholas FitzRoy-Dale wzdd at progsoc.org
Tue Aug 16 07:37:57 EST 2011


On 15/08/2011, at 1:14 PM, John Elliot wrote:

> I've noticed that some projects will dual license their content under the GPL *and* some other more liberal license such as the MIT or *BSD licenses.
> 
> Is this necessary?

Depends what for...

> If I'm working on a GPL licensed project and I want to use a library that is licensed under a MIT or *BSD license, can I do that? Or do the libraries that I'm referencing need to be also licensed under the GPL (or LGPL) too?

No, in this case you can just include MIT or BSD licensed libraries, as they are generally considered to be "compatible with the GPL".

Here is the FSF on what that means: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatDoesCompatMean

The MIT and BSD licenses aren't strict subsets of the GPL, which is why some projects choose dual licensing. 

Here is Theo de Raadt on it: http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20070901041657

Nicholas




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