We have a software of our authory and made by our company, We have licensed a sub part of it as GPL v2 and still develloping a professional version with more features and that shares the code we publishes as GPL in a comercial license .

Now they are saying that I´can´t comercialize our product becouse its a derivation of a GPL software.

It doesnt use any code of the community or any other GPL library, only code writen by our company and some comercial (we have licenses), LGPL and MIT licensed librarys.

I would like to know yours opnion about the fact so I can do the right thing.

Thanks in advanced

1 Answer 1


If you are the sole copyright holder of this software component (in particular, if this component is NOT derived from GPL software) then you are in no way bound by the GPL license you offer to other people. It is perfectly fine to dual-license this code under both the GPL and any proprietary terms.

|   your software   |
GPL |          | proprietary license
    v          v
  other      other
  people     people

This changes if

  • you accept outside contributions under the GPL license; or
  • you copy GPL-covered software into your component.

Projects that wish to dual-license their GPL-covered software either reject any outside contributions or require contributors to sign a Contributor License Agreement that gives you any necessary rights. You can find a template CLA at http://www.harmonyagreements.org/.

Now they are saying that I´can´t comercialize our product becouse its a derivation of a GNU software.

What? No. There are a number of misconceptions in that sentence.

  1. The GNU project is not the same as the GPL license. If your software were derived from GPL-covered software this would be correct, but that is not the case.

  2. You are dual-licensing the software under the GPL and proprietary license. This does not make your code derivative of your own GPL license. It would be equally wrong to view the GPL-covered version as derivative of the proprietary-licensed version: they are just two parallel licenses of the same software that don't affect each other.

  3. The GPL does not prevent commercial use. It merely prevents receivers of the GPL license from publishing the licensed software under different terms. Other people can't give out proprietary licenses, but you as the sole copyright holder can.

  • Sry, my mistake where you read GNU it was GPL, and answering we don´t use thirdy party code inside, we only link/use some comercial, MIT and LGPL like licensed libraries.
    – evandropoa
    Feb 11, 2019 at 18:50
  • Well, that's not the case, we are the only devellopers. They are even saying that becouse they sugest features or find bugs they are contributing to the development. :(
    – evandropoa
    Feb 11, 2019 at 19:13
  • 2
    @evandropoa Whoever is saying that has no grasp of how copyright works. For example, ideas are not copyrightable. Therefore, software cannot be derived from these ideas in any way that is relevant for copyright or licensing. While ideas can be protected as other kinds of IP (e.g. trade secrets) that's not going to apply to user suggestions in this case. Some EULAs explicitly specify that user suggestions may be used or ignored without the user getting any rights or recognition.
    – amon
    Feb 11, 2019 at 20:16
  • @evandropoa To put it bluntly, if they don't like what you're doing with their suggestions, they should stop making suggestions. :) (I fully agree with amon's assessment of the legalities here.)
    – apsillers
    Feb 11, 2019 at 20:28
  • Thanks for all comments, I´ve the same interpretation but I´m beeing sued with this alegations, so I need to found enbasement to it :/
    – evandropoa
    Feb 11, 2019 at 20:50

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