Open source licenses, using licensed source code under new licenses

Ben Tilly btilly at
Thu Apr 3 10:38:51 UTC 2008

On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 2:11 AM, Ryan S. Pettigrew
<bladetooth at> wrote:
>         Thank you all for taking my questions seriously, and your responses.
> I suppose I should have cut to the chase, but there was no telling whether I
> would be laughed out of the room for doing so. I've yet to see anyone give a
> specific example of an a, b, c, and x that would work together, but while
> that may be useful for my own edification, the crucial issue at hand is my
> specific problem.

Specific example?  BSD, Apache 2.0, GPL v3 and GPL v3.

>         I've been working on code that I intended to release under a BSD
> license. It incorporates code from BSD licensed source, Apache 2.0 licensed
> source, and source under a Creative Commons license (I realize Creative
> Commons has multiple licenses, and that I'd need to clarify which one; for
> now, please assume it is the compatible one, if there is one). I realized
> that, with all these licenses floating around, that the BSD license may be
> either too open or too closed to work with these other licenses. The
> organization seems to concern itself with issues like this,
> which is why I initially posted. So far, I haven't regretted it. Please let
> me know what you think about my predicament.

Consult a lawyer.  I'd strongly doubt that Apache 2.0 can be
relicensed BSD.  Depending on which variation of the BSD and which
Creative Commons license, you might be able to license everything as
Apache 2.0.  If it is a "share and share alike" license, I have no
clue whether that can be relicensed GPL v3 (and the FSF doesn't issue
an opinion on that one).  If so, then GPL v3 might work.  If not,
well, that's why people are telling you to hire a lawyer.


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