I am a little confused around the restrictions surrounding my use of existing (GPL) open source code.

I plan on using open source code (GPL license) to build an application - my plan is to use and modify the code and release a new application.

I have two questions:

  1. Am I able to monetize the new application even if I am using GPL licensed open source code?

  2. Can I change the license type on the new application and offer as a dual-license or am I obliged to offer this as GPL too?

1 Answer 1


What you plan on creating is called a "derived work." Unless you have specific permission otherwise, you are not allowed to change the license under which you offer your application. It must be licensed under the GPL and only the GPL.

The GPL license does allow you to make money from your application. The trouble is that it is virtually impossible to make money by selling copies to people, because under the GPL, they have the right as well to distribute the application and to do it for a lower price.
If you want to make money from your application, you need to find a different scheme.

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