This software is allowed to use under GPL or you need to obtain Commercial License 
 to use it in non-GPL project.

The above is mentioned on an open source project. It does not mention GPLv3 or GPLv2 explicitly. Does that mean I can use it as GPLv2/3 as per my convenience (as we can with LGPL)

I'm an open source newbie, so I just want to clarify this.

  • 4
    Without knowing what project you're referring to or where you saw the claims of GPL licensing, there's no way anyone can answer your question.
    – user53019
    Oct 3, 2014 at 18:32
  • I recommend contacting the authors/copyright holders and asking them to clarify. Oct 4, 2014 at 8:09

2 Answers 2


GPLv1 §7 states:

…Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies a version number of the license which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of the license, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation. [emphasis mine]

As o11c noted, GPLv1 was more permissive than later versions, and there's the chapter and verse that lets you choose.


If no version is mentioned, you can use it under any version of the GPL, including version 1. It is for this reason that "any version" is not recommended, because the GPLv1 is much weaker than GPLv2 or GPLv3.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.