I maintain a PyQt5 project on GitHub under the MIT license but now I am wondering if I am risking getting in trouble by not making it GPL... This answer makes me think that releasing my own code under MIT should be allowed because I have PyQt5 as a pip or conda dependency and my project does not directly include or modify and GPL code it just has it as a dependency, but the 2 other answers in that thread make me unsure. All I have is a single LICENSE.txt in my project root saying it's MIT. Can anyone help clarify whether I am breaking GPL rules here? Another big PyQt based project released under MIT is pyqtgraph.

1 Answer 1


It's ok. Your license must be only GPL-compatible (it can be GPL, but it's not mandatory).

MIT and MIT-0 (the license you use) are compatible (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#Expat).

Note that if you distribute binaries where PyQt5 is provided with the package, you must distribute that whole program under the GNU GPL, but you can specify that the original source is under the MIT (or MIT-0) license.

It is not legal advice.

  • It's probably worth mentioning somewhere PyQt5 exists in a multi-licensing scheme (that is, customers can choose a non-open source license if they want), and there is also another project called PySide which is available under an LGPL license and is mostly source compatible with PyQt (though as I recall, some small changes might be required to some programming interfaces, such as (Py)QString).
    – Brandin
    Jun 26, 2023 at 12:51

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