Re: [dev] [license] gpl issues

From: Страхиња Радић <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2023 15:20:16 +0200

On 23/06/20 08:41, Miles Rout wrote:
> It requires the notice is included (so people know that that code is
> available elsewhere under that licence), not that the notice is included _as
> your licence for the overall work_.

As someone else said, "words do matter". Copyright notice is not "just words",
it is important and carries legal weight. Expat license requires that the
copyright and permission notices are left intact in (and thus apply to) "all
copies" or "substantial portions" of the software. In this, it is not entirely

It is implied that the software which is mentioned here is the original code as
published by the original author. If someone makes additional code which
complements that program but is otherwise newly introduced to the program, he
can (sub)license (according to terms of Expat license) the additional code
under a different license, provided it is compatible with Expat. GNU GPL is
such a compatible license.[1]

> Works as wholes are licensed under
> copyright licences, not parts of works.

False. Parts of works can be licensed under different licenses and combined
into a single unit, provided the two licenses are compatible. See [1].

The same program can even be multi-licensed by the copyright holder (original

> I don't think relicensing is particularly relevant: the question is whether
> your work, i.e. the whole program you have published, which includes both
> code you wrote and you did not write, is able to be licensed under the GPL.
> That is about licence compatibility.

Let us recall the original message:

> I'm curious about licensing and was wondering why suckless tools are released
> under MIT rather than an alternative like GPL. Is it just to make it compatible
> with more other software?

So yeah, the topic is about potential relicensing of suckless software under

Still, as far as compatibility goes, the question is already answered multiple
times here: Expat license is compatible with the GNU GPL.[3]


Received on Tue Jun 20 2023 - 15:20:16 CEST

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