On our project we are allowed to use following licences : MIT, MIT-equivalent, Public Domain and several other concrete licences. I am not able to find out which licences are MIT-equivalent or Public domain lincenses. From the title GNU General Public License, version 2 it is probably a Public domain licence, but I am not sure about this.

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    Did you read any of the licenses or look at any license comparison table? Is there any question you have which is not "explain all licenses and their differences in a very broad general way" - which btw. is borderline off-topic or out of scope of the SEs. Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:41
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    Perhaps a better formulation of this question might be "Is the GPL 2.0 an 'MIT-equivalent' license?" rather than the very broad "What kind of license in the GPL?" I also think it would be a good idea to confer with whomever instituted the list you're using. I imagine they can tell you quite plainly if GPL-licensed material is allowed. (My guess is no, it is not, but again, I'm not a maker or enforcer of whatever policy it is that you're following.)
    – apsillers
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 18:52
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    No, GPL is not public domain. This question only really makes sense to ask to whomever made that rule. They are the ones that made up the project rules, so they are the ones that can answer what their rule means. Obviously the open source community has no such rules.
    – Brandin
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


The GPL 2.0 license is a copyleft license. This means that it puts major restrictions on anyone who distribute GPL licensed code or who wants to reuse GPL licensed code in another project. The most important rule is that anyone who uses GPL licensed code in their own project must publish their own project under the GPL license itself. So you can't use GPL licensed code in a closed-source program.

You can include MIT licensed code in a GPL project, but you cannot include GPL code in an MIT project. The GPL is definitely not a public domain license. Public domain means that anyone can do anything with it, including using the code in closed-source programs, and without attributing it to the original author. That is absolutely prohibited by the GPL.

Can you use the GPL 2.0 license for your project? Maybe. Best thing to do is ask whoever is setting the project.

  • Thank you for your answer. Our project is closed source.
    – Intrus
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 9:29

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