I heard that you must document all your changes and modifications to a software under the GPLv3. Is this true? If I'm not distributing this software, do I have to document my changes/modifications. How are you supposed to do this? Thanks in advance!

You may copy, distribute and modify the software as long as you track changes/dates in source files. Any modifications to or software including (via compiler) GPL-licensed code must also be made available under the GPL along with build & install instructions.

From tl;dr legal


1 Answer 1


The license says verbatim:

The GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed, so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions.

It means that if you make a derivative program, you shall make explicit that it's a different one.

Not that any change within the same program shall be tracked. That was most likely an interpretation from a lawyer that isn't familiarized with software development.

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