Multi-license - won't it conflict?

Ben Tilly btilly at
Sun Apr 17 16:08:28 UTC 2011

On Sun, Apr 17, 2011 at 8:59 AM, M.I.Z Khalid <itsols at> wrote:
> I'm a little concerned AND in doubt about how a SINGLE GPLe'd program can
> carry a COMMERCIAL license. My specific questions are:
> 1. Where does it indicate in the GPL v3, that only the original copyright
> owner can issue a dual license?

It has nothing to do with the GPL v3.

A license is permission from the owner to use their stuff in the way
that they permit you to do.  If you are not the owner of a copyright,
your permission is meaningless since you don't own it.

> 2. This may be answered above but if not, where does the GPL v3 prevent a
> forked project or redistribution being issued ALONG with a commercial
> license BY A DEVELOPER, who is NOT the original copyright owner?

The GPL v3 gives a list of permissions, and things that you are
required to do to maintain those permissions.  Should you attempt to
distribute GPLed code under a proprietary license which is not
compatible with the GPL, not only is your "permission" under your
proprietary license meaningless, but you are yourself in violation of
the GPL license and can be sued in a court of law.

Please note that I was careful to say "proprietary license" there.
That is because, contrary to what your question implies, the GPL _is_
a commercial license.

> Thanks a lot!

More information about the License-discuss mailing list