There are lots of projects released under more than one license. One example is Mozilla's tri-license, which states that the Software is released under the MPL, but the user can also choose GPL or LGPL instead of MPL (I think this is because the MPL license is incompatible with the GPL license).

However, I came across projects released under both the GPL license and the MIT license. What conditions must be met in this case? For the MPL/GPL/LGPL case, things are clear because you can choose MPL or GPL or LGPL. But from GPL & MIT I understand that the conditions from both licenses must be met at the same time in order to use it, and this doesn't make much sense because they have different purposes.

In this case, should the MIT license be interpreted as an exception, similar to, for example, the QT's LGPL exception or as an additional set of conditions on top of the GPL license?

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    IANAL, but if there are multiple licences, it means you can choose whichever one you want/can. For example, many applications are GPL for free usage, but a paid licence for commercial usage. Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 7:57
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    From your description, there are one of two possible cases that apply, and it's not possible to say which, without showing the exact context and language used. 1) The software is dual-licensed, and you can choose whichever license you want. 2) Some particular components of the software are MIT-licensed, but the work as a whole is GPL-licensed (recall that the MIT license is GPL-compatible, so MIT-licensed components may be included in a GPL'd work). The first case is much more likely, but the seconds case might hold in a very particular context.
    – apsillers
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 13:02
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    What confuses me is the and from GPL and MIT, more exactly, why the author doesn't use or instead of and if that was the intended meaning. But I agree with all the previous comments, as that was also my initial interpretation.
    – npclaudiu
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 15:07
  • This is typically to allow bundling/distribution with other software which is under either MIT (Many BSD's) or GPL (Linux typically) without running into license problems. Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


It means that you can pick either GPL or the MIT license (not both at the same time). If you pick GPL you need to go with the GPL terms (eg. all derivative works must also be released under GPL). If you pick MIT that's not required (just an example among the many terms).

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