Combining GPL and non-GPL code

Scott Paxton paxtontechnologiesinc at
Sat Aug 18 02:07:07 UTC 2007

I am not sure how I got on this e-mail list but could you please take me


-----Original Message-----
From: Wilson, Andrew [mailto:andrew.wilson at]
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 3:24 PM
To: Chuck Swiger
Cc: License Discuss
Subject: RE: Combining GPL and non-GPL code

Chuck Swiger wrote:

>> 3. The concept that the BSD copyright allows relicensing is one of
>> more difficult points of open source licensing to get one's mind
>> around.
> The BSD license does not mention relicensing anywhere, only:
> "Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> modification, are permitted provided...."
> It is commonly understood that this permits people to modify BSD
> licensed code and place the resulting derivative work under the terms

> of another license so long as the other license preserves the
> original copyright notice and BSD license text.  I would term this
> "sublicensing".

BSD doesn't mention "sublicensing" either, does it?
However -- and it does sound as if we are really in agreement on
this point, call it what you will; call it sublicensing, relicensing,
or overlaying a compatible license on top of BSD -- the license
(singular) which applies to the derivative work where GPL source has
combined with BSD source is GPL.  If GPL is clear on little else, it
is clear that GPL must apply to all derivatives *as a whole* (GPLv2
sec. 2 para (b)).

I said this is a difficult concept to get your mind around.  ;-)

Andy Wilson
Intel open source technology center

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