Skip to content, sitemap or skip to search.

Personal tools
Join now
You are here: Home Blogs Licensing Confused by license compatibility? A new article by Richard Stallman may help

Confused by license compatibility? A new article by Richard Stallman may help

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Feb 08, 2016 04:51 PM
Richard Stallman published a new licensing guide on regarding license compatibility and relicensing.

Richard Stallman has published a new guide on titled License compatibility and relicensing. is home to a whole host of resources on free software licensing, including frequently asked questions about GNU licenses and our list of free software licenses. Our license list contains information on which licenses are compatible with the GNU General Public License as well as a brief description of what it means to be compatible. This latest article by Stallman provides a more in–depth explanation of what compatibility means and the different ways in which it is achieved.

As Stallman states, "In general we say that several licenses are compatible if there is a way to merge code under those various licenses while complying with all of them." Even where two licenses are crafted in a such a way that they cannot naturally be combined, however, explicit relicensing provisions can enable code combinations that otherwise wouldn't be permitted. The guide covers all of this and more in depth and clarity.

Resources like this guide are made possible by donations from our community and help from our volunteers. Here is what you can do to help make sure everyone has quality tools for understanding and using free licenses:

Document Actions

The FSF is a charity with a worldwide mission to advance software freedom — learn about our history and work. is powered by:


Send your feedback on our translations and new translations of pages to