It is understood from the Open Source Initiative's definition of open source that the software under the licenses here and here can be used/run for any purpose. For example, it is understood that HeidiSQL is under GNU General Public License v2.0 and it can be used/run for any purpose.

However, some software are under multiple licenses. For example:


VeraCrypt is multi-licensed under Apache License 2.0 and the TrueCrypt License version 3.0, a verbatim copy of both licenses can be found below.

Is running/using VeraCrypt for any purpose still valid in this case?

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    Why do you think that licensing something under multiple licenses which all support the right to use software for any purpose would remove that right? Dec 18, 2020 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


Licences do not inhere in software, they attach to software (or, to be more precise, to the recipients of software) through the act of conveyance.

Which is a complex way of saying that what other licence some other person gets software under has no effect on you and the licence under which you get it. If you get libfoo under a free licence, let's say the GPL, then you have the freedom to use it for any purpose (as well as the other freedoms that free software comes with, and the conditions that the GPL applies to them). Just because somebody else gets libfoo under a proprietary licence (say, one that lets them build it into a software product without honouring copyleft, but only up to ten thousand copies) that doesn't mean that your freedoms go away. Similarly, your freedoms don't automatically transfer to them.

The title question can't be answered, because it assumes that software just sits there, with rights associated with it, which it doesn't. Instead, the rights you have with respect to a piece of software will depend on the licence terms presented to you when you got your copy of the software, and they won't depend on any licence terms presented to anybody else when they got their copy.

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    Qt being probably the biggest example of such dual licensing, with mixed LGPL and GPL as one option and commercial licensing as the other one.
    – jaskij
    Jan 26, 2021 at 13:55

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