I just want to make sure I'm using the right license for my open source API wrapper project for some social networks and also make sure I understand it. Could you just describe the basics of that license? What I can and can't do, etc? Does these things suit the GPLv2 license:

  • Open Source'ness
  • Ability to use it in your own project
  • But also give credit for it on ones website and keep copyright notices at the top of source files
  • Have control over it as in if you don't like how someone is using your code, you can report it somewhere after contacting the developer.
  • I would also like to make commercial versions and add ads to my project - so exceptions in the license would be noted.

Thank you all for your answers and comments. I've gone with the shorter and easier to understand New BSD License (BSD). Thanks anyway.

  • 5
    There are plenty of resources about the GPLv2 on the Internet. Perhaps it would be better if you described the conditions under which you want to release your project and ask specific questions about the GPL (and/or other licenses) and how it impacts your application.
    – Thomas Owens
    Feb 29, 2012 at 20:01
  • Thanks. I want my project to be used in open source applications only (with exceptions), get credit for it if someone uses it, and have a lot of control over it. Although I think the answer below is good. Thanks though. Please answer if you have a better answer than the one below.
    – user48818
    Mar 1, 2012 at 15:56
  • 2
    Can you edit that into your question, with definitions about what you mean by "have a lot of control over it"?
    – Thomas Owens
    Mar 1, 2012 at 16:11
  • Done. I also think about the New BSD License (BSD). It's short and simple and I think perfect for my project. What do you think? Is there a better license that better suits my project? Thanks.
    – user48818
    Mar 1, 2012 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Basically you're saying:

  • Please feel free to do whatever you want with this.
  • As long as you give me credit for my work.
  • And as long as you make the source code available to anyone you distribute whatever you build on top of my work to.
  • And as long as you extend these same rights to those who you distribute to.
  • Thank you for your answer. If I will not get any new answers then I'll mark yours as the accepted answer. Thanks.
    – user48818
    Mar 1, 2012 at 15:58

GPL may or may not be for you depending on what you mean by

Have control over it as in if you don't like how someone is using your code, you can report it somewhere after contacting the developer.

the GPL allows you to "have control" in the sense that you can force people to not distribute your code or modifications ONLY if they are not making your code/their modifications available to those they distribute to. Otherwise there is nothing you can do, if I legally obtain your code, I can do anything and everything I want with it.

There is one other exception, you may forbid distribution to a country if it would be illegal for you to distribute it there.

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