Convert GPL to MPL

Cinly Ooi cinly.ooi at
Fri Jan 18 18:09:13 UTC 2008

On 18/01/2008, Arnoud Engelfriet <arnoud at> wrote:
> Marcel Ferrante wrote:
> > If a open source uses GPL License and I do a fork and do many
> > modifications, I can change its license to MPL, to turn the software
> > a commercial open source ?
> No, you can't do that. Only the copyright holders, usually the authors
> of the GPL software, can change the license. This is a standard feature
> of copyright law.
> Arnoud

... and (depends on how you see it) the beauty/viral effects of GPL.

IANAL, but I agree with Arnoud that in virtually 99.999% of the case one
cannot change GPL to MPL.

However, as I understand copyright law, if the modification means the end
results look nothing like the original GPL copy such that it is legally
deemed not a derivative work under copyright law, then you are free to use
whatever license you see fit.

If you ask me, this scenario is practically speaking extremely improbable to
occur. Virtually at all time you will be better off starting from scratch
than to go down the modification route. In case you ask, simple changes like
variable name chage do not qualify and the courts are likely to look dimly
on you if you try to obfuscate the source code.


Best Regards,
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