I'm considering licencing my projects under the Unlicence licence, but I'm not sure if this is allowed when I have dependencies. For example if my project depends on a GPL or Apache or BSD project, does my licence cover them too, or because they're dynamically linked are they not covered. Can I do this?

This question is intended for Python projects pulling dependencies from PyPi, but answers can also include other languages.

This might be a possible duplicate but the other one did not fully answer my question.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can release your project under the Unlicense if you are using GPL, Apache, and BSD licensed libraries as dependencies.

The license that you can apply does depend on your dependencies. For example, you mention that one dependency is a GPL-licensed project. The GPL does not differentiate between static and dynamic linking and requires you to release your software under a compatible license, which the Unlicense is. The other licenses that you mention don't levy additional requirements on how you license linked code.

Note that your license only applies to your project code and not to the other libraries. If you were to distribute the binary form of the libraries or make modifications to the libraries, the licenses would explain what you are required to do with respect to making source available.

  • The dependencies and their respective licences were examples. So what you're saying is that it depends on the licence that the dependencies use? Is GPL the only edge case?
    – Awn
    May 21, 2016 at 14:40
  • And what about licences that don't even have a clause for dynamically linked code? Licences like MIT?
    – Awn
    May 21, 2016 at 14:58
  • 2
    @Aurora Talking about licensing using hypothetical is generally pointless. In order to understand what you are required or prohibited from doing requires knowing what licenses are involved, how you are including or linking to the licensed work, and if modifications were made to someone else's work. Some licenses (like GPL and MIT) don't make distinctions between static and dynamic linking, while others (LGPL) do. Some licenses are on a per-file basis, while others are applied to a whole work. Some licenses force you to use compatible licenses for your work (GPL) and others (MIT, Apache) don't. May 21, 2016 at 15:14

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