I have created a project from scratch and made it available online under the GPL license. Can I release a new version of the same project that does not have the GPL license?

I would also like to know why/why not this is possible.

NOTE: I have not incorporated any external changes to the codebase, all the code was written by me.

Edit: Some seem to think this question is identical to this question (how can a project be relicensed), however I would argue it is not, because that question deals with a general case while I am more interested in what is relevant for GPL in particular (and I think when people google these things they may not google the general case, I know I did not).

  • Why was this voted down? Is it not a valid question on this site? Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 22:32
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    I voted to close your question as a duplicate of the more general question because the answers there are equally applicable to your case. This does not mean that you wrote a bad question or didn't do a proper search. Sometimes it takes a slightly different view on the issue to find the correct search terms. The mechanism of duplicates is designed in such a way that future visitors can land on the good answers independent of how they exactly search. Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 7:47
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    I disagree. When I look for something in a search engine I type what comes to mind. I don't spend minutes reformulating my thoughts first. And 9 times out of 10 I get what I want on top. When I searched for this topic I got no hits. That is when I ask in exactly the wording I expected an answer for, filling the pothole. If that is not the intended way to use this site then it is MHO this site is flawed. Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 19:11
  • The way that it is supposed to work is that the next person searches just as you did, finds this question, gets informed that there is another question that has the answer and follows the link there. That way, it is easier for the community to provide high quality answers without having to repeat yourself over and over again for all the similar questions. Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 4:58
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    Yes :D Then we agree. But down-vote is unecessary! Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


IANAL, but if you own the copyright - which you seem to do - I think you can change the license, but afaik not retroactively. In other words, you can publish a new version under the 3-clause BSD license for example, but that will not change the license of what is already out there.

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